The 2016-2017 Honors Banquet was held on April 11th in the TA Dining Commons and Garland Auditorium to recognize the top 10% of students in the sophomore, junior, and senior classes for their academic excellence. Following a delicious dinner by FLIK, Thornton Academy alum Andrew Katon ’09 gave a keynote address about persevering in the face of failure. Andrew attended the University of Maine where he took courses in German, mechanical engineering, and aerospace engineering before starting a 3D-printing service bureau his senior year with a fellow engineering student. However, they soon became frustrated with the 3D-printer technology, which was still very primitive in many ways. “One day we finally decided to use our knowledge and experiences to design and build a 3D-printer that would overcome the limitations of existing 3D-printer technologies,” Andrew said.
Andrew is now focusing on growing his company L&K Manufacturing (doing business as Cobbler Technologies) into a world-class technology company. Cobbler is working on modernizing the shoe industry by using 3D-printing to speed up the production process. Andrew is also “passionate about helping grow opportunities for Mainers, specifically in the tech field.” He thinks it’s critical that the state figures out how to retain residents and the talented people that visit and go to school here. Read more about Cobbler Technologies in this Mainebiz article by Lori Valigra.
In his closing remarks to the Honors students Andrew advised, “I challenge each and every one of you in this room to try something bold, chase a dream, take a risk outside of your comfort zone, and you may just find the passion that answers the initial question, “what do I want to do with my life?”