By Karen Vance
CLIFTON - Kevin Freitag of Green Township wasn't much of a student in high school, so he knew he wasn't ready for the "full-blown" college experience.
But Freitag didn't just make it through his years at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College to graduate with an associate's degree. He excelled and turned to a new field - teaching.
IF YOU GO
What: Cincinnati State Technical and Community College commencement.
When: 10 a.m. today.
Where: Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center ballroom, Fifth and Elm streets, downtown.
Speakers: College President Ron D. Wright and student Tracy Kleinschmidt.
"I liked learning stuff, but in high school I wasn't motivated to do well," said Freitag, 22. "I was out of high school for three years and wanted to go back, but I was concerned I'd be wasting my money. But when I came here, I was motivated. I feel much better academically."
His hard work and grades earned a place on the All-Ohio Academic Team, a scholarship program for community college students in the state, and he's served as president of the school's honor society.
About 380 students (of the 1,100 who earned degrees) will participate in the graduation ceremonies at the Albert B. Sabin Cincinnati Convention Center ballroom at 10 a.m. today. The Clifton school, 3520 Central Parkway, was founded in 1969 as a technical college and became a community college in the early 1990s.
Students' post-graduation plans vary from continuing their education to entering or continuing in the workforce, but Freitag plans to take his associate of arts degree and give a large college campus a try - the University of Akron. He plans to major in history. He hopes to one day teach high school or college.
He feels his experience as a lackluster student can be a benefit in teaching.
"If you've been a troubled student before, you can help spot a troubled student and work with them," he said. "I hope to bring those experiences into the classroom with me."
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