ELKTON — “Make It Happen” was the motto of the Class of 19-03, as its five members endured the seven-week-long, bootcamp-like training program of the Cecil County Correctional Facility Entrance Level Training Academy.
On Friday, during a graduation ceremony in the Elk Room of the Cecil County Administration Building, it was clear that those five classmates had taken that motto to heart.
(While “19” denotes the year, the “03” indicates that this is the third graduating class since the state-accredited CCCFLTA started in 2017.)
The members of the academy’s third graduating class are Robert Kirk, of North East; Sebastian Nagovich, of Elkton; Michael Brown, of New Jersey; Paul Whelan, of Elkton; and Kathleen Kisner, of Elkton.
Now they will rely on their training while serving as corrections officers at the Cecil County Detention Center, where the academy also operates.
“From Day One, your motto was ‘Make It Happen,’ and you did,” Edward “Mac” McCrae, the CCDC correctional officer training coordinator, said from the podium to an audience that included friends and relatives of the graduates, county leaders and law enforcement and corrections officials.
McCrae reminded the graduates that they shared laughter, “plenty of nervous testing moments” and even some disappointments while going through the academy.
“All of these things build character and teach us life lessons,” McCrae said. “You were questioned, quizzed and I stressed following the policy and procedures. Policy and procedures are the panacea for the work problems you will encounter.”
McCrae then offered some additional advice and encouragement to the graduates.
“Always remember our morning moments of wisdom and remember there are 18 inches between your heart and your head. Use your head to think through your daily decisions. You have a thankless job and some don’t appreciate the profession, but not everyone can do this type of work. You are some of the few that can ... Remain strong and remain encouraged. Always keep the slogan in mind — no guns, just guts — make it happen,” he said.