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HEO Family Day not your typical college family day

Over 100 family members gathered at State Technical College of Missouri for the 2nd Annual HEO Family Day on Thursday, October 21.  

Parents, grandparents and siblings of students in the Heavy Equipment Operations program spent a beautiful autumn day observing their “favorite” student operate bull dozers, backhoes, road graders and a variety of other heavy equipment.

Before being transported to the worksite, family members ate lunch with students at the Main Stream Café which included a welcome from college president, Dr. Donald Claycomb.

Family members brought chairs, cameras, sunglasses and plenty of sunscreen in preparation for an afternoon of fun watching students learn the ins-and-outs of operating heavy equipment. 

Family members came from near and far.  Roy Oliver, father of Josh Oliver Bohl, Owensville, Missouri, traveled for over a day and half with his parents to observe his son.   Oliver drove 930 miles from Alamosa, Colorado to Linn, Missouri.  

According to Oliver, he believes his son is a natural at operating heavy equipment.  “I’ve had Josh on a tractor since he was a little guy,” said Oliver.  “Last summer while he was visiting me in Colorado I had him using a big combine.”

Oliver’s grandmother, Martha Oliver, was excited to see her grandson’s hands at the controls of a bull dozer.   “He loves being outdoors,” she said smiling.  “I’m so proud of him.”

Joann Cash, mother of Michael Cash from Nevada, Missouri, also enjoyed her time watching her son move dirt with a bull dozer.   Observing her son brought back memories from her son’s childhood when he would spend countless hours peddling on a child size tractor.   “He’s always loved playing in the dirt,” laughed Cash.  “This is right up his alley.”

With such a beautiful sunny day, parents had the perfect weather for photo opportunities.  Teresa Ratliff, mother of Andrew Ratliff, from Cape Girardeau, Missouri, was out of her seat on a number of occasions to snap photos of her son operating a backhoe.  

“It’s a long way from the Tonka trucks that he played with when he was a kid,” said Ratliff as she snapped another picture of her son.  “It’s been a great day.”

 With more than 35 programs, State Technical College of Missouri is Missouri’s only public two-year technical college with a statewide mission.   STC has campuses in Linn, Mexico and Jefferson City.  STC prepares students for profitable employment and a life of learning.   

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