BLUE BELL — Thirty-five cadets are prepared to join area police departments following their graduation from Montgomery County Community College’s Municipal Police Academy.

The graduation took place on Dec. 18 during a ceremony held at the College’s Science Center Theater in Blue Bell.

MCCC’s Interim Vice President of Academic Affairs Gloria Oikelome and MCCC’s Dean of Business and Entrepreneurial Initiatives Gaetan Giannini congratulated and thanked the graduates for the important role they will serve in the community.

“I encourage you to take the sense of justice, fairness and equity instilled in you through this program and serve the community, showing what you learned at Montco,” Oikelome said. “As a college we stand with you, fully support you and wish you all the best.”

Guest speaker David Boyer, chief of the Spring-Ford School District Police and one of the instructors at the municipal academy, reminded the graduates to keep learning and growing.

“Think about the best version of you what you want to put out there about yourself to the community. Take pride in yourself,” he said. “Have a plan, have a contingency plan and never stop learning.”

Police Academy Director Jude T. McKenna recognized the accomplishments of the Class of 1902, including the valedictorian and awards.

Earning the highest grade point average of 96, Daniel Heyduk was named valedictorian. Lt. Scott Sloss received the Platoon Leadership Award for his leadership skills. The Sgt. James R. Miller Marksmanship Award was presented to Derek Weiss, who had a score of 99.6. The Spirit of Distinction award went to Kevin Witchey for his enthusiasm and persistence.

During the ceremony, family members of the late East Norriton Police Chief John J. McGowan, III, presented a check for a $3,500 scholarship named in his memory to Derek Weiss.

The McGowan family started the scholarship fund in memory of their husband/father, John McGowan, who died in a motorcycle accident in 2010. The scholarship is awarded annually to a cadet who has successfully completed the program and is financing his or her own tuition.

Representatives from the Quest for the Best charitable foundation, President Taras M. Wochock and Vice President Daniel A. Czaplicki, presented two scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each to Bonita Rodriguez and Michael Whalon. Quest for the Best awards four scholarships in the amount of $2,500 each year to cadets who demonstrate leadership and excellence during the program.

The Class of 1902 includes Matthew Beyer, Collegeville; Bryanna Cochran, Levittown; Sean Cunningham, Philadelphia; Ashley Gaeta, Doylestown; Matthew Gall, Williamstown, NJ; Ryan Glenn, Pottstown; John Gordy, Chester; Brett Guaglionona, Abington; Dana Hallam, Lansdale; Daniel Heyduk, Levittown; Dan Hollingsworth, Warrington; Brian Innella, King of Prussia; Laura Jackson, Buckingham; Miranda Kapusta, Harleysville; Anna Kumor, Abington; Ryan McByrne, Havertown; Montana McDermott, Pottstown; Cole Midwood, Willow Grove; Asa Ott, North Wales; Anthony Pendell, Pottstown; Mikal Primus, Hatfield; Jay Ramos, Philadelphia; Zachary Reichenbach, Mullica, NJ; Bonita Rodriguez, Feasterville; Dakota Romberger, Roebling, NJ; Thomas Rosa, Lansdale; Scott Sloss, North Wales; Mara Smith, Abington Township; Ryan Stead, Gilbertsville; Nicholas Wacker, Abington; Derek Weiss, Lower Moreland; Michael Whalon, Conshohocken; Kasey Weist, Hatfield; Kevin Witchey, Warrington; and John Rivera, Allentown.

Since 1973, the Police Academy has been the training center for more than 3,500 cadets with a consistent graduation rate of more than 90 percent. The 919-hour curriculum allows successful students to articulate up to 15 credit hours toward an associate’s degree in Criminal Justice Studies. The Academy is certified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania through the Municipal Police Officers’ Education and Training Commission. Many of the Academy’s alumni serve as officers and in leadership roles throughout Montgomery County and the region.

MCCC operates the Municipal Police Academy in the Health Sciences Center, Central Campus, 340 DeKalb Pike, Blue Bell.

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