FKCC will present 80 associate degrees and certificates to graduating students at the College’s fifty-third Commencement Ceremony on Friday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Tennessee Williams Theatre on the Key West Campus.  The ceremony will be the culmination of the College’s fiftieth anniversary, which has been celebrated since the beginning of the academic year last August.

Special guest speakers and honorees include the Honorable Marlene O’Toole of the Florida House of Representatives; Shannon Estenoz, FKCC’s 2016 Distinguished Alumnus and Director of the Department of the Interior’s Everglades Restoration Initiatives; and Barbariza Kariuki, FKCC graduate.

Florida State Representative H. Marlene O’Toole, Keynote Speaker:
The keynote address will be delivered by Marlene O’Toole, a member of the Florida Legislature who represents the central Florida district comprised of Sumter, Lake, and Marion Counties.  Representative O’Toole was an executive at IBM for more than 30 years before retiring in Florida with her husband, Ed, in 1992.

She began a second phase in her career as the program director of Take Stock in Children of Lake and Sumter Counties, an organization that provides college scholarships to at-risk youth.  After leading the program for 10 years, she ran for an open seat in the Florida House of Representatives.  She has subsequently been reelected three times, and has served as the Chair of the Education Committee for the last four years.

Shannon Estenoz, Distinguished Alumnus:
FKCC President Dr. Jonathan Gueverra will present the 2016 “Distinguished Alumnus” award to Shannon Estenoz, an accomplished advocate for the restoration and protection of the Everglades.  Her 19-year career includes various leadership roles with the Environmental and Land Use Law Center, the World Wildlife Center, and the National Parks Conservation Association.  In 2010, Estenoz was appointed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar, as the Department’s Director of Everglades Restoration Initiatives.  She coordinates the Department’s restoration efforts and serves as the Executive Director of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.

Estenoz, a fifth generation Key West native, started with an Associate in Arts degree from Florida Keys Community College in 1987 before going on to earn bachelor’s degrees in International Affairs and Civil Engineering from Florida State University.

Barbariza Kariuki, Student Speaker:
Selected by her fellow graduates, Barbariza Kariuki, will deliver the Student Address. “Barbie,” who moved from Kenya to attend FKCC, will graduate with an Associate in Arts degree.  In addition to her studies, she is the President of Sigma Alpha Pi, a national student leadership club; Vice-President of the Student Government Association; a Student Ambassador; and a member of the Environmental Club and Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.  For the past year, she also served as an intern at the Monroe County Attorney’s office.

Kariuki has been accepted to the University of Florida, where she will pursue a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science with a minor in Agriculture Ethics and Policy.  Barbie aspires to a career dedicated to protecting the environment through a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) such as the United Nations.

Graduates: Click here for information about participating in the Commencement Ceremony.