Congratulations to our former student, Stephany Gutierrez, and her Instructor, Mrs. Patricia Lawton!

Last weekend, the pair attended the Independent Colleges of Indiana banquet, where Mrs. Lawton became one out of 29 educators in the state to win the “Most Influential Educator” award for “Inspiring Stephany Gutierrez to Realize the Dream of a College Degree.”

Gutierrez, who nominated Mrs. Lawton, currently attends Marion University and was presented with an “Outstanding Achievement Award” for “Realizing the Dream” as a first-generation college student along with a $4000 scholarship.

Gutierrez is a graduate from Southport High School who participated in Mrs. Lawton’s Nursing program in 2022.

The early years

Early 1970

Nine School Corporations join forces to establish the first area vocational center for Johnson and Marion County. 


April 28th, 1970

A temporary Governing Board is established and Richard Thomas is elected as the first (temporary) president. 

The board makes a proposal for a Continuous Feasibility Study for an area vocational school. 


September 21, 1970

Board members review (and choose a site for campus). 



October 8th, 1970

Board members vote to name the center; Central Nine Vocational Technical School. 

Other names that were up for consideration: “John-Mar” (or “Johnson-Marion”), “Central Nine”, “Leatherwood”, and “whetzel Trace”. 


April 15th, 1971

Architect, Ray Thompson, from James Associates presents the final site and building plans for Central Nine. 



May 13th, 1971

James E. Hixson is made the first director of Central Nine.