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Paris Junior College’s Texas Institute of Jewelry Technology held a spring semester award ceremony Thursday, May 8, in the Ray Karrer Theater for students completing jewelry technology, gemology, bench technician, computer aided jewelry design and casting.
Frank Poye, PJC horology instructor, introduced keynote speaker Jeff Turner, owner of Jeff’s Jewelry LLC in Conroe Texas. Turner attended PJC, receiving his jewelry technology certification in 1981 and gemology certification in 1982. That year his mother allowed him to use her garage to start “Jeff’s Jewelry Designs,” while he also worked for Sid’s Jewelry in Borger.
Two years later he opened his first store in Borger, and 13 years later moved to Conroe and opened Jeff’s Jewelry LLC. Jeff is married and has six children. The two oldest children work in the family business and are graduate gemologists (GIA), and daughter Hannah graduated from PJC’s CAD program last fall.
“In our business your trust and respect in the community is crucial,” said Turner. “Four things are important: speech, conduct, love and listening. Customers want to do business with someone who knows what they’re talking about. You are jewelers, and have gone through a rigorous course, so don’t be afraid to speak up. Actions speak louder than words so take responsibility for mistakes and do what is right. Love what you’re doing and show your customers you care. They want to know that you can do the job and listen to what they want you to do.
“I’m excited for you, I’ve been there and I’m certain you will do well.”
Winners of the Student Association Design Contest were announced. The wax-carving winner was William Bussell. Hannah Pinon won in both rendering and lapidary arts. Casey Farrell won beading and Lily Kauffeld won in art metals. Kerby Dewbre won in CAD/CAM rendering, and Ricardo Ruiz took first in CAD/CAM finished pieces. First place in the Steam Punk category was Ryan Pagoria. Caroline Brady won in the restoration category. Jory Wall won the overall design contest as well as first place in finished pieces.
The Stuller Awards for Excellence given by Stuller, Inc., of Lafayette, La., provides company credits to aid graduates in obtaining needed supplies. Stuller, Inc. is a company supplying tools, findings, and materials needed in the industry. The $500 Platinum Award went to Melissa Ann Walden of Paris. The $300 Gold Award was given to Jessica Whitney Walla of Carmel, Indiana. The $200 Silver Award was presented to Christian Schneider of Victoria. Sarah Helluin of Mandeville, Louisiana, was awarded the $100 Bronze Award.
Gemology graduates include Ricardo Ruiz of Duncanville; Sarah Helluin of Mandeville, Louisiana; Lily Marie Kauffeld of Siloam Springs, Arkansas; Rebecca Ann Berry of Porum, Oklahoma, and N. Katharine Steadham of Dallas. Angelica L. Guevara of Laredo; Jessica Whitney Walla of Carmel, Indiana; Justin Cashion and Melissa Ann Walden of Paris and Jonathan Bruce Mees of Chillicothe, Ohio completed the Jewelry Technology program. Receiving Bench Technician certificates are Kirsten Saffel of Doyline, Louisiana; Caroline Brady of Meridian; Christian Schneider of Victoria and John Bentley Anderson of Yazoo, Mississippi.
Casting certificates were presented to Tina Moody of Kaufman; Kerby Daniel Dewbre of Morton; Cashion; Guevara and Walden
Receiving Horology Technology certificates were Jon-David Wilson Wiley of Hartselle, Alabama; Ryan Michael Pagoria of St. Charles, Missouri; Toby James Cavazos Reichwald of McAllen and Jason Powers of Lubbock.
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