CVCC Recognizes Graduates of Fire Academy

Class 24-1 Received Fire Academy Diplomas on Monday Evening.


Fire Academy graduates (class 24-1) recieve diplomas on the evening of April 8th, 2024.

HICKORY, N.C.—On Monday, April 8th, the CVCC Fire Academy (Class 24-1) celebrated its Spring 2024 Graduation at the CVCC Auditorium.

Graduates included Nicholas Arteaga (Hickory Fire Department); Kayce Bailey (Claremont Fire Department); Casey Caywood (Hickory Fire Department); Brandan Daniels (Hickory Fire Department); Corbin Hefner (Maiden Rescue Squad); Landon Reed (Lovelady Fire & Rescue); Jenna Robinson (Hickory Fire Department); Michael Watkins (St. Stephens Fire Department); Alec Weaver (Grace Chapel Fire Department); and Connor White (Sherrills Ford—Terrell Fire & Rescue).

Representatives from each local fire department attended the ceremony to show support for graduates and their families. The evening included a cadet comment from Battalion Commander, Casey Caywood, along with a message from special guest Captain Michael Hullett, 2023 NC Firefighter of the Year.

Captain Hullett, who served the Charlotte region for 30 years, spoke about the traditions and legacy of those who risk their lives as a firefighter. “This is a brotherhood and sisterhood like no other,” said Captain Hullett. “At the core, what we do is rooted in a deep sense of duty and passion. Our ‘why’ is engrained in every fiber of our being. As rookies, you now get to uncover your ‘why’ and let that ‘why’ be your guiding light.”

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Steven Rhodarmer, Director, awarded the diplomas to each graduate. Special awards included the Merit Award, presented to Casey Caywood; the GPA Award, presented to Jenna Robinson; and the Physical Fitness Award, presented to Kayce Bailey.

“We were a group of misfits who started this journey awkward and unsure,” Caywood remarked, “but we came together as a team. We pushed each other, and through our experience, we became a family. I believe the Fire Academy formed the foundation of our careers and showed us what we are capable of.”

To learn more about the Fire Academy and related programs at CVCC, please contact Steven Rhodarmer at To learn more about Catawba Valley Community College, please visit our website,

Pictured Above: Fire Academy Graduates stand with diplomas during their class ceremony.

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