Southeast Polk 2020 Graduate, Devin Wignall, planned on walking across two stages this spring: one for his associate degree in welding from DMACC and the second for his high school diploma from Southeast Polk. 

I was supposed to walk the stage on May 6th, a day before my birthday. I was thrilled about this because that would mean I technically graduated from DMACC at 17. Sadly this didn’t happen since DMACC canceled their commencement ceremony.” 

Devin’s passion for welding started his freshman year in Mr. Rickabaugh’s Welding 1 class, continuing on to Welding 2 his Sophomore year. Mr. Rickabaugh informed him about DMACC’s Career Advantage Program so he signed up immediately and started taking on-campus DMACC classes in the Fall of 2018. The Career Advantage Program is a specific program dedicated to high school students to take on-campus DMACC classes with other high school students. Devin participated in that program for the 2018 Fall semester and 2019 Spring Semester, driving each morning, Monday through Friday, to DMACC’s Southridge location for hands-on welding classes.

Valerie Powell, Southeast Polk Counselor, shared,” It takes a lot of planning, communication, and hard work to earn a degree from DMACC while in high school.  Devin worked closely with Mrs. Nolting, our DMACC advisor, and myself to make sure he was taking the correct courses that would help him meet SEP and DMACC graduation requirements.  It was a pleasure working with Devin and I am extremely proud of him for this accomplishment!”

“It was definitely a lot of work but completing an Associate’s Degree is definitely doable,” Devin shared. His life has been very busy, taking many online classes along with the hands-on classes and a full high school class schedule. He also wrestled his freshman and sophomore years, played football all four years, worked a part-time job, and is a veteran race car driver, competing weekly at the Knoxville Raceway in their Pro Series Sprint Car class! The 2020 season marks his career’s 14th season in racing.

Devin plans on attending DMACC again in the fall to complete his Pre-Engineering associate degree, over half of which he has already completed, along with a few certificates in some of his other interests such as Tool and Die, CNC Operations, and Advanced Manufacturing. After DMACC, he plans on attending Iowa State to complete his Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Devin is hopeful he will walk across the stage with his Southeast Polk peers on July 18. So are we! Congratulations!