LSSC announces 60th commencement speakers

  Lake-Sumter State College will confer nearly 800 degrees and certificates to over 600 students during the 60th commencement exercises held on Wednesday, May 1, and Friday, May 3. 

“I am pleased to welcome both of our commencement speakers to share their experiences with our graduates and offer their words of encouragement and inspiration,” says Dr. Stan Sidor, LSSC President, in a press release. “These speakers were selected for the passion that they display toward their work and serving others. I believe our students will find them to be extremely relevant to their own experiences.” 

Dr. Albert Manero, president of Central Florida based Limbitless Solutions, will be the speaker on Wednesday, May 1, at 6 p.m. in the Clermont Arts & Recreation Center.

Limbitless Solutions is a non-profit organization that manufactures and provides innovative prosthetics for children at a low-cost. Dr. Manero is also a three-time graduate of the University of Central Florida, including a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering. 

Nicholas Drechsler, graduating with an Associate in Arts degree, will be the student speaker for Wednesday’s ceremony. He began at LSSC as a dual-enrolled student and continued after graduating high school to complete his A.A. Drechsler was an active in student life and on-campus events, dedicating his time as the SGA Treasurer. He will continue to UCF, where he will study engineering. 

On Friday, May 3, at 10 a.m. in the Everett A. Kelly Convocation Center on LSSC’s Leesburg campus, the commencement speaker will be Catherine Stempien, president of Duke Energy Florida. She has 25 years of experience in the finance and legal fields. She earned a Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in government from Dartmouth College. 

Her commitment at Duke Energy involves promoting a diverse workforce, leveraging technology for the greater good, and meeting the workforce needs of the future. 

Jeff Paradee, graduating with an Associate in Arts degree, joins the group as Friday’s student speaker. Jeff is a poet, writer, and artist who was actively involved in campus life. Jeff grew up with a neuromuscular disease where he progressively lost the ability to walk, stand, lift his arms, or breathe on his own. He uses his own experiences to mentor and support pediatric transplant patients and plans to continue advocating for individuals with disabilities while pursuing his Bachelor’s degree. 

Top row: Nicholas Drechsler (left) and Jeff Paradee 

Bottom row: Dr. Albert Manero (left) and Catherine Stempien