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TJC Fire Academy Holds Graduation for Class 19

Tyler Junior College Fire Academy held graduation ceremonies for Class No. 19 Friday, April 23 in Rogers Palmer Performing Arts Center on the TJC Main Campus.

Class valedictorian was Meredith Norman of Arlington, and the salutatorian was Cooper Ruiz of Van. Invocation and benediction were given by Dr. Doug Haning, a chaplain for Smith County fire and law enforcement agencies. Tyler Fire Department’s Training Chief Casey Cabaniss served as guest speaker.

Meredith Norman, Valedictorian

TJC Fire Academy Class 19 valedictorian was Meredith Norman of Arlington.

“Each graduating cadet has completed a series of courses in basic preparation for a new firefighter to satisfy the Texas Commission on Fire Protection (TCFP) curriculum for Basic Structural Fire Suppression,” said Captain Jeff Akin, TJC Fire Protection Technology Coordinator. “This course may be offered only by institutions licensed as a fire academy by the Texas Commission on Fire Protection. In addition to this coursework and live-fire exposure, cadets also have completed training in agility and fitness preparation.”

Graduates and their hometowns included: Garrett Blalock, Rusk; Cole Caitlin, Ben Wheeler; Caleb Clements, Flint; Christopher Cooner, Diana; Jacob Davis, Buffalo; Juan Gonzalez-Ortega, Tyler; Seth Hoyle, Dodson, Louisiana; Katie Hutchins, Tyler; Luke Metcalf, Heath; Derek Nilson, Lindale; Meredith Norman, Arlington; Keston Price, Hideaway; and Cooper Ruiz, Van.

Classes for the next TJC Fire Academy begin August 24, 2021. For information, please visit

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