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Thursday, May 20, 2021

In the world of Marie O’Brien, a 2014 graduate of Julie Billiart School Lyndhurst, landing her dream job at Nothing Bundt Cakes in South Euclid is a definite indicator of hard work, a positive attitude, and success. Being named Student of the Month by Mayfield City Schools is just the icing on the cake.

Marie graduated from Beachwood High School two years ago and has remained a student of the district throughout her participation in CEVEC. As a high school student, she ran cross country, participated in marching band, and enjoyed spending time with her friends. This spring, she was named a Student of the Month and celebrated during a virtual ceremony.

This spring, Marie graduated from the Cuyahoga East Vocational Education Consortium (CEVEC). She’s spent the past two years with CEVEC training for work, polishing her resume, and apprenticing at a variety of jobs. As part of her graduation from CEVEC, she is recognized for her role within the Mayfield City Schools District. Marie was also asked to deliver closing remarks at her CEVEC graduation.

“Marie has been a delight to work with during her years at CEVEC,” said Elizabeth Scully, who oversees the Hospitality Service Sector of the program. “She has always worked to the utmost of her ability and always with a smile. She has been unflappable and everyone has absolutely enjoyed having her here.”

Throughout her time in the CEVEC program, Marie shadowed and worked in a variety of kitchens and bakeries. According to Mrs. O’Brien, Marie’s mother, Marie has always enjoyed the creative outlet that baking affords.

“She had hoped to work in a bakery,” said Mrs. O’Brien. “We weren’t finding the right opportunity. Then CEVEC took her for an interview at Nothing Bundt Cakes and she did wonderfully. She’s been there in a full-time, paid position since August and will continue there after her graduation.”

At Nothing Bundt Cakes, Marie flips the cakes, scoops the batter, and makes the frosting. She loves being a baker and has always shown great interest in baking, ever since her older sister started taking her to bakeries for cake decorating classes.

“I love measuring, mixing the flavors, and working with my coworkers,” said Marie. “In the future, I hope to decorate the cakes. It’s a dream come true.”

She’s worked hard to get to this point, and has delighted and impressed all of her schoolmates, teachers, coworkers, and supervisors along the way. According to Janette and Dennis Looney, owners of Nothing Bundt Cakes in Avon, Strongsville, and South Euclid, Marie has been an incredible addition to their team.

“She is extremely reliable, effective, and willing to do a wonderful job,” said Mr. Looney. “We’ve said many times that we wish we had 20 Maries. She’s terrific.”

Marie’s employers, as well as her family, credit the support of Marie’s education team in helping her get to this point. While Marie was a student at Julie Billiart School Lyndhurst, she enjoyed her classes and the many extracurriculars that infused her life with friends and social activities. At JB, she began to practice executive functioning and self advocacy skills that would prepare her for high school and the workplace.

“Marie has been taught, mentored, encouraged and helped by many, many people in her young life,” said Mr. and Mrs. O’Brien. “She’s been a very fortunate young woman. She got a great education at JB that prepared her well for high school and gave her confidence. We can never really express just how grateful we are.”

Marie’s endlessly sunny attitude has inspired so many individuals. Her former JB teachers, current supervisors, and coworkers can’t help but smile when they see the joy that Marie finds in baking.

“When she’s leaving, she always says ‘thank you for letting me work here today,’” said the Looneys. “It inspires all of our team members and makes them more appreciative and more positive. We all want to be a little more like her.”

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools gave us hope after our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. At JB, she thrived in the small classes, received necessary therapies, and developed the self-confidence to ask for help when she needed it. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools has helped my child become a better version of himself. The teachers and therapists at JB really know and understand how to reach children who learn differently. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote They have all the resources necessary, specialized to the individual learning of each child, and the heart that goes with it. I don't think we would have stayed in Ohio if it wasn't for JB! close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how grateful I am that you saw my daughter for all that she is today and all that she is yet to become. close-quote

Tammie Sommer

open-quote My kids love everything about JB and look forward to going to school every day and seeing their friends and teachers. JB is truly a one of a kind school enriching young lives everyday. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote All of the teachers and staff at JB are patient and willing to take the extra time to make sure we, as parents, understand and are comfortable. close-quote

JB Parent

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