SGTC holds summer GED graduation ceremony

Published 9:49 am Wednesday, August 8, 2018

AMERICUS — South Georgia Technical College (SGTC) held its 2018 Summer General Educational Development Diploma (GED) Graduation ceremony in the James S. Peters gymnasium on the SGTC Americus campus recently.
State Rep. Bill McGowan, D-Americus, was the guest speaker at the ceremony where 43 students from Sumter, Crisp, Schley, Macon, Marion, Taylor and Webster counties received their general equivalency diplomas. Sumter County GED graduate Alanna Yawn was presented with the Americus and Sumter County Chamber of Commerce Platinum Trustee Scholarship worth $,1000 by Chamber Board member Paul Farr to help her continue her education. She had the highest cumulative score the GED exams.
SGTC President John Watford, Ed.D., welcomed the graduates, faculty members, family and friends who came to the James S. Peters gymnasium for the ceremony. He also congratulated the graduates on their achievements and told them that graduations were one of the most favorite parts of his job as president. “You are an inspiration to everyone here tonight. You have inspired your family, your teachers, and your friends and I also hope that you inspired yourselves, because you have accomplished something that you felt that you needed to do. Educationally, you can do anything you set your mind to, now that you have earned this GED. It may take more time and effort but you have just surpassed the first and most important hurdle of your educational career,” said Watford.
He also encouraged graduates to continue their educational journey and reminded them that SGTC has over 200 different programs available to help them secure a career. He also talked with the GED graduates about the $500 tuition voucher that they receive from the Technical College System of Georgia to continue their education and pointed out that if the graduates or their friends and family members fill out an application after graduation, South Georgia Tech will waive the application fee.
“This is an exciting day for many of you here tonight,” said Watford. “Don’t worry if you don’t have everything figured out right now. But you have momentum because you have completed your GED and if you will take advantage of that momentum and continue your education, you will figure the rest out as you continue that educational journey.”
The Rev. Mike Truitt delivered the invocation at the ceremony. Lisa Truitt provided the piano selections including the traditional processional and music for the graduates. Lillie Ann Winn, Dean of Adult Education at SGTC, introduced McGowan as the guest speaker.
McGowan also congratulated each of the graduates on achieving their GED and told them that life is like a bicycle ride. “Sometimes you are going up hill and need to change gears; sometimes you are doing downhill at a rapid pace and need to put on brakes. And sometimes, just like life, you are on an even surface and everything runs pretty smoothly. Tonight you have reached level ground and all is going well. Be proud of where you are today and what you have accomplished.
“Believe in yourselves and your abilities. Remember those teachers, friends, and family members who have encouraged, supported and helped you to get to this stage of your life. Now I am asking you to encourage, support, and help someone else so that they can begin to accomplish their dreams,” said McGowan.
The state representative also shared some old sayings with the graduates and told them that many of them are applicable today. “You have probably heard these before. ‘Hard work pays off and when you are angry, count to 10 and listen, and be honest in your dealings with others.’ Those are good sayings that will help you become successful. Again, congratulations and even if success does not come as quickly as you would like, remember, don’t be discouraged. Be positive and wait.”
After McGowan’s talk, President Watford, SGTC Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers and Dean of Adult Education Winn recognized the graduates and presented them with their diplomas.
The Americus Rotary Club was the premiere sponsor of the SGTC GED Graduation ceremony and special thanks were extended to those individuals and organizations who helped provide GED scholarships including: Ruth Jones/Girls Educating with Donations Scholarships; Cordele Housing Authority, Americus-Sumter Chamber of Commerce, Flint Energies, and the South Georgia Technical College Foundation.
Listed below are the GED graduates from the local area who earned the right to participate in the ceremony.
Sumter County: Amanda Chavez, Daniel Cornejo, Neal Daniels, Dylan Davis, Hannah Gleaton, Lydia Goins, Christopher Goodyear, Jesus Guerra, Victoriano Guerra, Miranda Harkins, Erika Hernandez, Julia Mason, Adrian Mast, Michael Micallef, Lidia Montoya, Megan Ogden, Messiah Plaza, Aaron Powell, John Prather, Travoris Prince, Yolanda Robinson, and Alanna Yawn;
Marion County: Cristopher Cooper;
Macon County: Ampara Aguirre and Heather Hinton;
Schley County: Blade Lloyd, Madison Scholfield, and Kevin Turknett;
Webster County: Maribel Tzoyohua.
Lillie Ann Winn is the South Georgia Technical College PA for Adult Education for SDA 15. Lisa Jordan is the Adult Education administrative assistant. Lisa Truitt is the GED Chief Examiner and Kenia Wills is a GED Examiner. The South Georgia Tech Adult Education instructors include John Bagwell, Cindy Bagwell, Carlene Beckwith, Lissa Faircloth, Alanna Goolsby, Carla Hayes, Angie Kauffman, Mary King, Leslie Rye, Timetrice Thomas, Tonya Visage and Virginia Wilson. Tracy Israel is the Adult Education Transition specialist.