CATS graduation (38).JPG

TROUTMAN – The one word used several times to describe the iAcademy graduates was unique.

It’s a fitting term for a group of students who juggled classes at their home high school and extra work at the Career and Technical Academy (CATS). In the process, they learned to manage their time and to gain skills for careers from auto technology to nursing to firefighting.


Iredell-Statesville Schools Superintendent Brady Johnson said it was apt that the fifth graduating class marched across the stage on the anniversary of D-Day. He said those that made the landing in Normandy 75 years ago were called the greatest generation.

But this group of students, he said, is the latest generation. In choosing a less traditional type of educational opportunity, Johnson said, they proved they were willing to take on new challenges. “That tells me you are risk-takers,” he said.

With college ahead of some and others heading into the workforce, he challenged them to be bold. “We are really proud of you,” he said.


Class speaker Carli Camporeale said the education they gained at CATS affords endless opportunities for the future. Like Class President Keri Montagnino, she said the education at CATS has prepared them for whatever lies ahead.

Graduate Taylor Loyd impressed her classmates and the crowd with her rendition of “The Impossible Dream.”


CATS Principal Larry Rogers told the students they are powerful but that power must be used wisely. “Power is a dangerous thing if you don’t know how to use it,” he said. “Each generation has a set of challenges,” adding that this class is no different.

However, he said, they have learned a variety of skills to aid them in meeting those challenges. “You are a special class,” he said. “You did what you needed to do to be here today.”

He issued his own challenge to the class to create a loving, caring and especially, a safer place. “We’re proud of you,” Rogers said.

2019 iAcademy graduates

Abigail Faith Blankenship

Courtney Dawn Burton

Carli Marie Camporeale

John Luke Cosey

Ashley Rose Davis

Clayton Michael Ervin

Joseph Anthony Generi

Caitltnn Olivia Gregory

Jared Michael Griffin

Noelle Kathlyn Holland

Aubreigh Lauren Heisler

Abigail Adriana Jones

Natalie Jean Kangas

Erran O’Neal Keaton-Rogers

Samuel Alexander Knox

Joseph Scott Lamberth

Hannah Clarke Lodge

Y’Kenica J’Nae Lomax

Zyere Amari Harris-Long

Taylor K. Loyd

Cathryn Alana Lynn

Hailey Brooke Massey

Connor David Mayeski

Evan Lane Mayhew

Keri Elizabeth Montagnino

Zachary Thomas Rumple

Cassidy Faith Sain

Brianna Mae Schamus

Austin Robert Taylor

Cassi Annarie Smith Williams

Kaleb Luke Williams

Madison Makenzie York

Recommended for you

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Please keep it clean, turn off CAPS LOCK and don't threaten anyone. Be truthful, nice and proactive. And share with us - we love to hear eyewitness accounts.