SGTC hosts Fall 2017 commencement ceremony

Published 11:32 am Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Fro m STaff Reports

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) hosted its Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec.14 in the James S. Peters Gymnasium on the Americus campus in front of a capacity crowd.
Approximately 230 students, 40 of which were either Presidential Honor or regular Honor Graduates, received awards of either an associate degree or a diploma during the 2017 fall commencement ceremony. Students must have an overall grade point average of 3.9 or higher to qualify as a Presidential honor graduate and a grade point average of 3.70 to 3.89 to qualify as an honor graduate. National Technical Honor Society members were also recognized.
SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers presided over the graduation ceremony and introduced the Rev. Bill Dupree who gave the invocation.
Watford welcomed graduates and their families and recognized special guests. Richard McCorkle, chair of the SGTC local board of directors, introduced the keynote speaker for the evening, aviation maintenance technology instructor, Charles Christmas, who is the SGTC 2017 Instructor of the Year.
In his brief talk to graduates and their family members, Christmas gave the graduates sincere advice designed to help them in their pursuit of excellence in their chosen careers or continued education.
“First congratulations to each of you,” said Christmas. “Feel proud of your accomplishment of this milestone. Tonight is all about celebrating this exciting event in your life. You are closing one chapter but beginning another. Remember that you have the potential to make the next chapter of your life very successful if you will look for opportunities for growth while you pursue your passion.”
Christmas also advised the graduates to learn from failures because failures bring opportunities. He also challenged them to live lives of integrity and aspire to make a difference every day rather than just make a living. In closing he again congratulated the graduates and their families and wished them continued success.
After Christmas’ address, Watford and Kuipers made a special presentation to the family of Nykevia Shanice Sanford, a medical assisting student from Americus, who died fall semester before completing her diploma. Mr. and Mrs. Willie E. Sanford Jr., accepted the honor diploma on behalf of their daughter.
Following the special presentation, Watford, Kuipers, and the SGTC Deans for Academic Affairs, presented the diplomas to the graduates. Sixty-four students received an associate of applied science degree and 165 unduplicated diplomas were awarded.
SGTC students, from the local area, who earned the distinction of graduating as Presidential Honor graduates and their respective fields of study included: Business Technology (AAS) Mary N. Solis of Americus; Business Technology (Diploma), Kelly LeeAnn Stroup of Americus; Early Childhood Care and Education (Diploma), Kristina Harpe of Oglethorpe and Carolyn LeAnn Tholen of Americus.
SGTC students, from the local area, who earned the distinction of graduating as Honor graduates (3.70 – 3.89 GPA) and their respective fields of study included:  Accounting (AAS), Christopher Guilfo of Oglethorpe; Aviation Maintenance Technoloyg (Diploma), John Vines Brooks of Americus; Business Technology (AAS), Amy Ibach of Americus; Business Technology (Diploma), Leslie Dawn Belcher of Buena Vista; Computer Support Specialist (Diploma), Nicholas Shannon Storey of Preston; Cosmetology (Diploma), Kristen Morgan Whaley of Americus; Criminal Justice Technology (AAS), Charles H. Kinnamon of Americus; Culinary Arts (AAS), Kyle William Biggs of Leslie; Culinary Arts (Diploma), Kenneth Paul McNeil, Jr. of Preston; Early Childhood Care and Education (Diploma), Eva Porter of Buena Vista; Practical Nursing (Diploma), Summer Driver of Americus.
Fifteen graduates are also members of the National Technical Honor Society. Those individuals are John Vines Brooks, Ginny Brookshire, Callier Collier, Tracy Evers, Jessica Fudge, Kristina Harp, Rick Hopper, Kimberlee Newbern, Eva Porter, Christian Powell, Maria Riveria, Mary N. Solis, Nicole Turner, Daniel Tyler, and Ramona Williams.

SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., is shown with George Porter, Ed.D., and his wife, Eva Porter from Marion County. Eva earned her early childhood care and education diploma through the college’s partnership with the Marion County Schools.

Sixty-four students earned associate of applied science degrees and those students, from the local area, and their programs of study included:  Accounting, Christopher Guilfo of Oglethorpe; Business Technology, Adrienna Lashawn Clayton of Americus, Amy Ibach of Americus, Jasmine Serria Prince of Americus, Brittany Sanders of Americus, Mary N. Solis of Americus; Computer Support Specialist, Albert James Green of Americus, Angelica Sims of Americus and Troy Daniel Thompson of Montezuma; Criminal Justice Technology, Kenetra M. Asberry of Ellaville, Asia Nicole Harden of Ellaville, Kelly E. Harnage of Ellaville, Christianna Maria Jackson, Michael Johnston, Charles H. Kinnamon, Anaiah Kirkland, Quinntin Ja’Colby Mann, Donald R. McCook III, and Crystal Maria McCoy, all of Americus; Kayla Michelle Murphy of Ellaville, Michael Adam O’Neal of Smithville, Desirrae Shana Pollard of Preston, Roger Singh Reehal of Americus, Destiny Kierra Symone Walker of Oglethorpe, and Kristoria Wilson of Americus; Culinary Arts, Kyle William Biggs of Leslie; Early Childhood Care & Education, Carla Barner of Ellaville, Daphne Hadley of Montezuma, and Shanique Shanta Hunt of Americus; Marketing Management, Kayla Maraie Bowens of Americus; Networking Specialist, Ginny Loree Brookshire, Samuel B. Foster, and Keldrige James Glenn of Cordele, Angelica Sims of Americus; and Troy Daniel Thompson of Montezuma
After each graduate had received their award, Kuipers declared to Watford that each graduate had completed the requirements for graduation as set forth by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).
Afterwards, Dupree gave the benediction and the graduates recessed to the music of Pomp and Circumstance.