Higher-learning dreams culminate before the silver screen

The show's about to begin.

The show’s about to begin.

Under the stars in a palace of history and fantasy, 51 TECO team members recently came face-to-face with a new reality: that they’ve taken their education and opportunities for the future to exciting new places.

To put it another way, to everyone who received their degrees at a ceremony at Tampa Theatre: congratulations, graduates!

The 51 team members completed courses at a variety of learning institutions throughout Tampa Bay, including the University of South Florida, Hillsborough Community College, Saint Leo University, Polk State College, Argosy University and Warner University. In many cases, as they balanced their full-time work schedules with TECO, they benefitted from classes the company hosts at places like its Skills Training Center on 78th Street in Tampa.

Congratulations, graduates!

Congratulations, graduates!

For TECO’s Jeff Rogers – an educator himself as administrator of Learning Systems with the company – his newly earned master of science in Management from Warner University represents something that positive for company customers too.

“Everything that went into my degree is knowledge I can invest right back into TECO, to make this a stronger company with employees that are better able to create great experiences for our customers,” he said. “TECO’s tuition reimbursement program is a resource that should enable just about anyone at the company to grow their knowledge – no matter your age, you’re never ‘not young enough’ to get your college degree.”

Bruce Napier, senior administrator of Organizational Development, was among many TECO team members on hand for the ceremony, along with speakers that included Gordon Gillette, president and CEO of Tampa Electric and president of Florida Operations. Napier said it’s impossible to witness the graduation ceremony and not feel something positive about the future.

A ritual that just has to be done. (But please - never under power lines.)

A ritual that just has to be done. (But please – never under power lines.)

“TECO has always been a learning organization – meaning it’s not good enough to simply be good at our jobs; we have to be able to develop our skill sets and knowledge in order to be what the community needs us to be,” Napier said. “It’s wonderful to think that Tampa Electric, which got its start in 1899, is united in history with Tampa Theatre, which opened its doors in 1926. These hard-working, dedicated TECO graduates are proof that we’re united in the future as well.”

Rogers added some words of encouragement for everyone at his company – and those who may one day join the company.

“If you don’t have the degree and you need it for your job duties, for your future at TECO and for your ability to serve the community, go for it! Once you have it, it’s something no one can ever take away from you.”

Congratulations again to TECO’s recent graduates:

Argosy University
Velma Lewis

Hillsborough Community College
Waleska Beltran
Scott Blaisdell
Terry Booth
James Fredericks
Yvette Garcia
Noel Gomez
Cole Hammond
Raquel Hickson
Jacquelyn Hines
Deborah Kemp
Traci Manuel
John McGaughan
Kayleigh Pettway
Joe Romano
Katrina Tagliarini-Sanchez
John Turner
Mark Vezevicius

Polk State College
Tamera Aponte
Teretha Robinson

Saint Leo University
Shane Courtney
Emerly Henry
Angie Leslie
Christina Lovering
Lili Salemi
Jason Sizemore
Marsha Snyder Howard
Nicole Townsend

University of South Florida
Joshua Alston
Shilah Bass
Samantha Boyette
Jeremy Brown
Yvonne Casares
Lisa Grant
Darryl Jones Jr.
Marlene King
Amy Leto
JB Lucas
Susan Luis-Jorge
Yasmin McComber
Mark Moyer
Aileen Muniz
Gilbert Nieves
Cathy Pettway
Wade Prevatt
Darrell Purifoy
Carrie Rodriguez
Aaron Spear
Donald Ware

University of Tampa
Kevin Young

Warner University
Jeff Rogers

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