VGCC President, Student Leader Celebrate College’s 50th Graduating Class

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Almost 500 graduates were honored at Vance-Granville Community College’s 50th annual commencement exercises on May 10, 2019. Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who became the seventh president of the community college earlier this year, served as the principal commencement speaker for the outdoor ceremony, held in front of the gazebo on the college’s Main Campus.

As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Board of Trustees Chair Danny Wright noted that Desmarais followed in the footsteps of Dr. Donald Mohorn, the first president of the college. Mohorn served as the speaker for the very first commencement exercises, back in 1970, when the school was known as Vance County Technical Institute. Wright added that one member of that first graduating class is today a faculty member at the college: Faith Harris, program head of information technology/computer education.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, the president of Vance-Granville Community College, delivers the commencement address at VGCC on May 10. (VGCC Photo)

Desmarais began by reminding students of the special meaning of the college mascot, the “Vanguard,” which often refers to being in the lead. “Today, you are truly Vanguards – going forward and leading the way into the future as you leave this campus,” she said.

The president went on to give the graduates pieces of advice that she felt would have been helpful to her younger self when she graduated from college. “The first one is to focus on what you do best,” she said. “Now is the time to stop concentrating on your weaknesses and put more attention and effort into your strengths.”

Second, she advised students, “don’t be afraid to be an original.” She explained, “You’ve probably heard that there will be jobs in the next 15 years that don’t even exist today…. Now, that’s not to say that your education and skills training are useless – simply that different combinations and applications of skills will be required for future jobs. That’s where being an original comes in!”

Desmarais added, “Don’t be afraid to recombine your strengths, knowledge, and ability into something new – because that’s where innovation lies.”

Also offering inspiration to the Class of 2019 was the Student Government Association president, Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, speaking on behalf of his classmates. De Leon graduated with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson speaks on behalf of the graduates at Vance-Granville Community College on May 10. (VGCC photo)

He said that, after high school, he “made some decisions that were truthfully not in my best interest” and later realized he needed to make a change. Crediting his mother with never giving up on him, De Leon enrolled at VGCC. “I found the courage to move forward like a raging storm,” he told his fellow graduates. “I have not looked back since.”

De Leon did not know what he wanted to do with his life when he enrolled. “It wasn’t until my instructor’s first lecture was over that I realized that I wanted to become a professor,” he recalled. “I wanted to inspire others the way he did. I now have two years of instructors who have inspired me to change others’ lives the way they did for me. The faculty and staff here at VGCC truly care about the students.”

He thanked professionals at the college for helping “sculpt” him into the person he is today. “I am proud to stand here before you as a man with a future,” De Leon said. He plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, with a long-term plan to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology.

After Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Levy Brown presented the candidates for graduation, Board of Trustees chair Danny Wright and President Desmarais presented degrees and diplomas and congratulated the graduates.

Students in the Class of 2019 joined more than 14,000 others who have graduated from the college over the past half-century and made some history of their own, with the first graduates from a pair of degree programs that have been added in recent years: Histotechnology and the Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts.

Vance-Granville Community College President Dr. Rachel Desmarais places a medallion around the neck of Academic Excellence Award recipient Hope Crute of Youngsville, right. (VGCC photo)

One graduate, Hope Crute of Youngsville, was formally presented with the North Carolina Community College System’s Academic Excellence Award. During the procession of graduates, President Desmarais paused to place a medallion around Crute’s neck in honor of her outstanding achievement. One student from each of the 58 colleges in the state system is recognized with the award each year. Crute, a Franklin County Early College High School student, graduated with both an Associate in Arts and an Associate in Science.

Members of this year’s class, including those predicted to graduate at the end of the summer term in July, were awarded 221 Associate in Applied Science degrees in a variety of curriculum programs, 143 Associate in Arts degrees, five Associate in Fine Arts degrees, two Associate in General Education degrees, 75 Associate in Science degrees and 72 technical and vocational diplomas. Some 25 students graduated with more than one credential.

De Leon led the new graduates in ceremonially turning their tassels as the ceremony concluded. Music was provided by the Vance-Granville Community Band. Bearing the ceremonial mace for commencement was Bioprocess/Biotechnology Program Head Stewart Lyon, the college’s 2018-2019 Faculty Member of the Year.

LIST OF GRADUATES

Graduates are listed by program and then by residence. Names marked with asterisks (*) indicate graduates who are projected to graduate in July 2019.

Accounting:

Sally Jean Perry of Louisburg.

Accounting and Finance:

Alicia Denise Hinton of Castalia;

Tonya Faucette Saleh and Lissbeth Trejo Trejo, both of Henderson;

Jasmine Keona Dunston, Tammy Elizabeth Johnson Dudding and Trina Marie Leapley, all of Louisburg.

Air Conditioning, Heating & Refrigeration Technology:

Christian A. Dockum and Ethan Dean Hughes, both of Creedmoor;

Alberto M. Delahoz of Franklinton;

Tyrell Terry*,  Tyres Na’eem Terry* and Hunter T. Windley, all of Henderson;

Luis Fernando Briones Gomez*, Justin Albert Hicks, Zavious Damond Oakley* and Noah Ashton Reed*, all of Oxford;

Russell Wade Hinnant of Youngsville.

Associate Degree Nursing:

Lakeisha Monique Scott, James Elijah Temple and Rhonda Barnette Williamson, all of Bullock;

Catherine Gill Bullock and Emily Padgett, both of Butner;

Lilian J. Schleifer of Cary;

Kaylin Renee Gibson of Creedmoor;

Christine Atieno, Takera Shantell Green and Moses Maiko Onchonga, all of Durham;

Vanna Cunningham Farrar and Ashley Chea Sawyer, both of Franklinton;

Tuesday Ni-Asia Mathews of Fuquay-Varina;

Kathleen Elizabeth Lee, Allison Paige Stell, Tyler A. Thorp and Phylicia Johnette Wimbush, all of Henderson;

Keyona Donyitta Bullock, Jessica Brooke Honhart, Rachel Elizabeth Munson, Caitlin Anne Pernell and Chelsea Morgan Ray, all of Louisburg;

Frances Tuyet Beddingfield, Joseane Santiago Buckley, Teresa Ann Coley, Wanda Cozart Davis, Ashton Brummitt Hobgood, Hellen Ochanda Mbuya and Shanae Nicole Rhoades, all of Oxford;

Abigayle Makenzie Edwards, Leslie Michelle Judd, Angela Jepkoech Talam and Maritza Alexandra Vazquez, all of Raleigh;

Michelle Madison of Selma;

Ashley Nicole Flynn and Brandon Lee Smith, both of Wake Forest;

Melissa Candice Ramos of Warrenton.

Associate in Arts:

Daniel Esquivel-Contreras of Bunn;

Benjamin Vijay Mangalam of Butner;

Spencer Jones* of Castalia;

Delaney Faith Edwards, Rickelle Taina Harrison, Sarah Josephine Jones, Netana Anastasia Ojeda Stgermain*, Michael Seth Potts, Rosanny Reynoso, Brandi M. Umstead and Davina Larae Williams, all of Creedmoor;

Jai Malik Butts and Dillon Keith McIntyre, both of Durham;

Maria Teresa Ayala*, Jessica Lynne Burney, Morgan Paige Byrd*, Kaleb Lee Cahoon, Sarah Rose Frizzle, Harley Marie Keith, Michelle Delgado Medina, Bernaldo Antonio Pina-Paz, Tyler Rada,

Charles Michael Sawyer, Brittney Ann Smith and Craig Wilkie, all of Franklinton;

Ariana Aguirre*, Viridiana Chavez, Amber Sha’prieste Cotton, Matthew Scott Denton, Dalton Scott Elliott*, Megan T. Goswick, Jessica Paige Grissom, Zurisadai Guzman-Vazquez, Kaitlyn MacKenzy Harris, Sarah Emily Howarth, Henry Huynh, Dylan Tyler Jackson, Tim Jiang, Jadyn May Jones, Joshua Arthur Jones, Jade A. Lewis, Alondra Lopez, Darius Philip Macon-Majette, Ariel Delores Noel, Vianey Nonato*, Evan Alexandra O’Geary, Ashley Jane Pendergrass, Joseph E. Penny, Joel Renteria, Ethan Bryce Roberson, Jarrett Philip Seaman, Amaya Sealyn Sneed, Jonyiah Alise Teasley, Alexis McKenzie Watson, Hannah Denise Wells, Corey Kennard Williams, Jr., Kianna A. Wills and Al-Leain Ishamarie Young, all of Henderson;

Kimberly Hope Callis, Caitlyn Nicole Holmes, Ashlee Marie Perry, Charles Edward Thompson, Gracey Renee Vaught and Brinea Wright, all of Kittrell;

Rachael Mei Ling Minter of Littleton;

Jessica Alexandra Baker*, Shelbie Dion, Nathan Fields, Leslye Herrera, Rylie Hannah Howes, Lujain Issa, Ashley Brook Lloyd*, Rachel May, Kalyn McComas, Kassandra Plascencia and Anthony Smith, all of Louisburg;

Destiny Lynae’ Brown, Colby Latrell Richardson and Delana Symone Williams, all of Macon;

Katelyn Frazier, Daisha Monique Lemay and Sha’niya Lo-Angel Perry, all of Manson;

Caleb Richard Brauer, Andrew Barrington Cheek, Maya Hawkins, Wesley Scott Huff and Jasmine Luna, all of Norlina;

Chance Parker Taylor of Omaha, Nebraska;

William Jordan Abbott*, Christy Lynn Beasley, Savannah Leigh Brogden, Jacob Newby Carver, Laci Anne Davidson, Ker’Telian Sharey Fields, Willie Lorenzo Fields, Khalil Nasim Gay, U’lia Kiana Hargrove, Sonia Marie Hernandez, Miya Kimberly Jefferson, Glandra Tahjah Jolly, Asmaa Kassim,

Kristie Lumpkin, Kelan Javarious Marable, Anna Elisabeth McAuley*, Kacey Ann Ramsey*, Alyssa McKya Thorpe, Trinity Alexis Thorpe, Kimberly Nicole Vargo*, Shiloh Ann Whiten, Hunter Scott Wilkins, Alexander Chance Wilkinson, Jadakiss Davonne Wilson and Foster Thomas Yacos*, all of Oxford;

Emerald M. Scott of Raleigh;

Madeliene E. Williams* of Rougemont;

Brittany Lee Petrimoulx and Maria Guadalupe Rojas, all of Stem;

Kamiyah Elizabeth Wiggins of Townsville;

Nicholas Henry, Morgan Hopkins, Ashley Husske, Rachel Sudney Kelley, Jamie Elizaveta McGinn,

Jillian Stegemann and Rachael Glynn Yelle, all of Wake Forest;

Conner Gray Bryant, Moniah Dal’shaunda Bullock, Ellen Renee Denning, Danaja Bene’t Lee*,

Bryanna A’layza Richardson and Heriberto Vela-Leos, all of Warrenton;

Tabais Jaheim Mitchell of Williamsboro;

Emily Jean Bauer, Julia Brock, Dariana Cabrera, Sarah Callahan, Kyle Cook, Hope Crute, Meara McCrory, James Hunter Murphy, Hayley O’Neal, Sydney Venezia and Taylor Nichole Wagaman, all of Youngsville.

Associate in Fine Arts in Visual Arts:

Jessica Kathryn Hartley of Kenbridge, Va.;

Christian Daevon Ellison* of Kittrell;

Elizabeth Nicole Durand and Samantha Theda-Jean Marchese, both of Wake Forest;

Colton Michael Valentino of Youngsville.

Associate in General Education:

Michael Wayne Whittemore, Jr.,* of Kittrell.

Associate in General Education – General Science:

Dominique Raeshaun Richardson of Henderson.

Associate in Science:

Daniel Esquivel-Contreras of Bunn;

Spencer Jones* of Castalia;

Austin Michael Councilman of Creedmoor;

Jacklyn Colby Stanley of Durham;

James Geary*, Michelle Delgado Medina, Rebecca Kali Middleton and Morgan Daryl Wiggins, all of Franklinton;

Brian Joseph Boyd, Matthew Burnette, Matthew Scott Denton, William Zachary Egerton, Toni Sorensen Greene, Jessica Paige Grissom, Kaitlyn MacKenzy Harris, Fatima Najib Hawter, Henry Huynh, Tim  Jiang, Shadi Mohamed Nagi, Dawson Thomas Peoples, Joel Renteria, Ethan Bryce Roberson, Charne A. Robinson, Delaney Short, Tiffany M. Williams and Kianna A. Wills, all of Henderson;

Ethan Allen Cole and Ashlee Marie Perry, both of Kittrell;

Evan Theodore Casady, Maxwell Diaz, Abiral Singh Hamal, Leslye Herrera, Karalee Jensen Miller* and

Anthony Smith, all of Louisburg;

Katelyn Frazier and Shawn Lavonda Miles, both of Manson;

Kristen Miranda Senter of Middleburg;

Andrew Barrington Cheek and Shima’a Hauter, both of Norlina;

Amari Gekedd Bass, Monica A. Botros, Destiny Jonique Davis, Aivy Balan Derry*, Maggie Elizabeth Dickerson, Ashley Marie Parker*, Chase Michael Perry, Natalie Renee Russell*, Isaac Ayoub-Nagi Saleh and Jacob Bart Thomasson*, all of Oxford;

Nicholas Luchenbill Kurtz* of Raleigh;

Emily Jean Bauer of Rolesville;

Lily Rose Averette of Rougemont;

Desiree Raquel Talley of Roxboro;

Elizabeth Adcock and Kayla Michelle Blue, both of Stem;

Aaron Wesley Archambault, Lindsay Fenlason and Kynleigh Elizabeth Holley, all of Wake Forest;

Nihya Tyrae Alston, Ellen Renee Denning, Kamini Alexis Hudson, Kimberly Labra-Franco, Hannah Pastores Ortiz, Nyasia Monique Warren and Taylor Nicole Williams, all of Warrenton;

Quavion Chykiem Basyden of Willard;

Julia Brock, Sarah Callahan, Hope Crute, Dylan Hagen, Hayley O’Neal, Caroline Sofia Puca, Daniela Vargas-Donge*, Sydney Venezia and Cody Alexander Woolverton, all of Youngsville.

Automotive Systems Technology (Degree):

Brandon Matthew Sparrow of Creedmoor;

Christopher Ramon Hernandez of Henderson;

Branden Scott Lilley* of Louisburg;

Juan Avila-Velazquez and Blake Aaron Larcade*, both of Oxford;

Daniel Shaw of Wake Forest.

Automotive Systems Technology (Diploma):

Alfredo Rodriguez Jimenez, Jr., of Henderson.

Business Administration:

Sable Clark of Bullock;

Charlene Allen Kearney and Eboni Latoya Kilgore, both of Creedmoor;

Cody Nelson Garner of Franklinton;

Sharon Terry Bryant, Venita Jean Day, Christie Gail Ellington and Megan Brooke Penny, all of Henderson;

Danny Wayne Ayscue and Tara Lastacey Burwell*, both of Kittrell;

Adero Benjamin Bullock of Louisburg;

Justin Tyler Roberson of Norlina;

Latosha Cherie Hunt, Temeka Gill Marable and Bridget Marie Odom, all of Oxford;

Amber Lynn Taylor of Rolesville;

Leeanne Nicole Harp of Wake Forest;

Tiffany Lynn Gray, Barbra Ann Warren and Dar-Neshia Samone Williams, all of Warrenton;

Karen Noemi Intriago-Carrion of Washington, D.C.

Computer Technology Integration – Networking & Security Technologies:

Terrence Bowden of Oxford.

Cosmetology:

Hunter M. Boykin, Bridgett Nicole King and Samantha Briann Williamson, all of Franklinton;

Holly Rose Buchanan, MacKenzie Dawn Hutson, Chelsea Leigh Jones, Michelle Lynn King* and Irina Zhavrina Letts, all of Henderson;

Megan Lee Twisdale of Kittrell;

Jayliyah Aareyan Edgerton* and Anna Marie Wood, both of Louisburg;

Nikshya Williams* of Manson;

Jazmine Diane Hunt and Kaela M. Wood*, both of Oxford;

Kathleen Rae Feinman of Rolesville;

Aliah Kaitlyn Dillard, Laura Elizabeth O’Hara and Rachel Ashley Savage, all of Wake Forest;

Danielle K. Hargrove*, Danielle Seward and Janice Pitchford Shehata, all of Warrenton;

Traci Nichol Alston of Youngsville.

Criminal Justice Technology:

Adrianna Maria De Nuzzia and Akilah S. Hyatt, both of Creedmoor;

Brenda Gail Ellis of Durham;

Darryl Lamont Ragland of Franklinton;

Jose Angel De Leon, Jerry Lawrence Dickerson, Keyla Lewis, Kettisha Cheriss Marrow and Latoya Renee Seward, all of Henderson;

Charles Francis White of Hurdle Mills;

Yahaira Kelly Solis and Charmaine Ailean Sutton, both of Louisburg;

Sherese Lashonda Hicks* of Macon;

Reginald Tyrone Harris*, Madison Nicole Johnson, Savannah Ciara Kelly, Brandon Wayne Perry, Matthew Austin Smith and Olivia Jayde Williford*, all of Oxford;

Andrew Lewis Ayscue of Youngsville.

Culinary Arts:

Mia Symone Ray* of Butner;

Sonya Kearney Jackson of Franklinton;

Leonard Noel Lyons* of Henderson;

Rebecca Naomi Groover of Raleigh;

Dejah Davis of Stem.

Early Childhood Education:

Brittany Ann Yarboro of Butner;

Chelsea Ann Mickle of Durham;

Holly A. Perry of Franklinton;

Jessica Renee Bolton, Johanna Wilkins Ragland, Tracy Grissom Roberson, Ayesha Tia Rogers, Seniqua Dante Turner and Rochelle Danielle Williams, all of Henderson;

Shannon Chantel Manning of Norlina;

Sharon Wilson Barnette, Penny O. Glover and Charlie Kristine Vaughn, all of Oxford;

Hayley Autumn Massengill of Raleigh;

Deborah Ellenburg Burns of Youngsville.

Electrical Systems Technology:

Daniel Charles Ohrt of Creedmoor;

Cecori Lamon Dunston of Henderson;

Joshua Todd Neal of Stem.

Electronics Engineering Technology:

Douglas A. Gendron of Louisburg.

Global Logistics and Distribution Management Technology:

Melissa Edwards Waddell of Henderson.

Histotechnology:

Melissa Brook Anderson of Butner;

Michael Angelo Parziale of Cary;

Linda Jamira Livingston of Louisburg;

Rawia Dafalla of Raleigh.

Human Services Technology:

Gloria Ann Evans of Bullock;

Jennifer Stasia Bennett of Henderson;

Larecia Roberson Bullock and Hali L. Wheeler, both of Oxford.

Human Services Technology/Gerontology:

Sonya Jeanne Barnes* of Henderson.

Human Services Technology/Substance Abuse:

Gloria Jean Chavis of Butner;

Emilee Elizabeth Newhouse* of Creedmoor;

Grace Abigail Ohlandt* of Franklinton;

Jennifer Stasia Bennett and Feliciana Inconta Hernandez, both of Henderson;

Hali L. Wheeler of Oxford;

Jawanda La’meia Burchette of Stem.

Information Technology (Degree):

Mitchell Lee Greene and Robert Cam Hurt, both of Creedmoor;

Justin Keith of Durham;

Colin Hope, Aron Lee Magee and Alvin Bryan Richardson*, all of Henderson;

Cody Ryan Parrott of Kittrell;

Kassidy Lynn Holtzman of Norlina;

Lewis Keith Carr of Raleigh;

Alex T. Jackson and Tony Emmett Schuenemann, both of Stem;

Brandon Vestweber of Wake Forest;

Cody Brandenburg of Youngsville.

Information Technology (Diploma):

William Mark Woodlief of Oxford.

Mechatronics Engineering Technology:

Xavier Dominique Eaton of Bullock;

John Walter Slaton of Henderson;

Christopher Everett Long of Norlina;

Segun Adeyinka Folajin of Raleigh.

Medical Assisting (Degree):

Candice Antrice Downey of Creedmoor;

Ebony Le’shea Moniqu-Terry of Franklinton;

Ashley R. Hill and Petrina La-Vette Perry*, both of Henderson;

Emily Palacios* and Jessica Nicole Ruffin-Sutton, both of Louisburg;

Savannah Jackson Barnes of Oxford;

Erica Tunstall of Warrenton.

Medical Assisting (Diploma):

Destini L. Foster* of Butner;

Katie Anne Fuller*, Danielle Brook Groves* and Kaylor Michelle Lawrence*, all of Creedmoor;

Sheronica Raquel Griffin* of Franklinton;

Jennifer Louise Parker* of Knightdale;

Briana Taleen-Tign Barnwell* and Crystal Catlett Williams*, both of Louisburg.

Medical Office Administration:

Ashleigh Danielle Ray of Bunn;

Valerie Ann Robinson of Butner;

Eboni L. White of Creedmoor;

Savannah Noelle Jones* of Durham;

Cheryl Lynn Graham of Franklinton;

Morgan Maria Archer, Tranita Nicole Brown, Sarah Marie Cassell, Cassidy Jackson Grissom, Melissa Orr Simmons, Tashiyana Avante Turner and Raini Williams, all of Henderson;

Robin Elaine Dorsett, Susan Millard Edwards, Misty Rose Grabowski and Shalinda Leondria White, all of Louisburg;

Adrienne Fudge Edwards of Middleburg;

Shimeka Latice Kearney and Cartes Eaton Newell, both of Norlina;

Belinda Faye Davis, Tracy Ramsey Matthews, KeShonda Arielle McMannen, Ashley Nicole Piper and Robin Claiborne Williams, all of Oxford;

Hannah Scurto Parnell of Stovall;

Meri Beth Blake and Davita Chante Steed, both of Warrenton;

Kathleen Cardullo Green, Jessica Marie-Faithe Noll and Yvonne L. Richards*, all of Youngsville.

Office Administration:

Matt Stephan Larch of Henderson;

Lastacey D. Burwell Kittrell;

Indajah Sahmon Henderson of Oxford.

Paralegal Technology (Degree):

Katie Lynn Bean* and Amali Nagi Hauter, both of Henderson;

Evelyn Nolasco of Louisburg;

Holly Hodges Cashwell of Wake Forest.

Paralegal Technology (Diploma):

Celene Acuna of Henderson;

Lauren Elizabeth Cash and Melissa J. Padgett, both of Oxford.

Pharmacy Technology (Degree):

Jane M. Jones of Franklinton;

Darcel L. Alston of Henderson;

Katherine Rose Harris* of Kittrell;

Taylor Elizabeth Reams of Warrenton.

Pharmacy Technology (Diploma):

Glenn Thomas Burgess* of Creedmoor;

Adrienne L. Reams and Anthony Martin Wade, both of Oxford;

Monika* of Roanoke Rapids.

Practical Nursing:

Candice Compton Howarth* of Bullock;

Sharlett Elisa Wilson* of Butner;

Mary Wairimu Wanjiku* of Cary;

Shaquile Londale Hawkins* of Creedmoor;

Justin Kortor* of Durham;

Stephanie White Alston* and Mikayla Ashley Sellers*, both of Henderson;

Laveasta Perry Clayton* of Knightdale;

Cindy Cooper Blankenship* and Megann Joy Casady*, both of Louisburg;

Marylou L. Goedeker*, Sylvia Bosibori Mugambi*, Stephen Makori Nyambariga*, Esther Kwamboka Ogachi* and Teresa Nyanchama Onchiri*, all of Raleigh;

Suzanne Lee Wiley* of Wake Forest;

Bryanne Janelle Kilmer* of Youngsville.

Radiography:

Kristen Ashlee Bowman of Butner;

Shanice Donnia Alleyne, Karene Kavonne Anderson, Matthew Scott Battistel, Starsha Hargrove, Dwayne Douglas Huneycutt and Paige Donahue Snider, all of Creedmoor;

Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton;

Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson;

Angela Joan Basili of Hillsborough;

Shayla Adair Cash and Dulce Guadalupe Huerta-Santillan, both of Louisburg;

Megan Irene Proctor of Macon;

Crystal Gail Sorrell of Oxford;

Samantha Pierce of Raleigh;

Rubi Judith Coyote-Baizabal, Celeste Justine Evans and Treva Duncan Gordan, all of Roxboro;

Marina Ellen Rombout of Stem;

Megan Tamara Whitman of Youngsville.

Welding Technology (Degree):

Michael Lee Hall of Creedmoor;

Carrie Ellen Johnson and Troy J’Qwan Little, both of Henderson;

Austin Davis Finch of Louisburg.

Welding Technology (Diploma):

Marquis Lamar Skinner* of Henderson;

Ismael Trejo Labra of Norlina.

VGCC Graduates 15 Cadets in 108th Basic Law Enforcement Training Class

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Fifteen cadets graduated from the Basic Law Enforcement Training (BLET) program at Vance-Granville Community College in a ceremony held May 14 in the Civic Center on the college’s Main Campus. After passing the state certification exam, all are authorized to work in any law enforcement agency in North Carolina.

Above: On front row, from left: graduates Kevin Allen, Taylor Inscoe, Zachary Long and the college’s interim director of Law Enforcement Training/BLET, Glen Boyd; on second row, from left: graduates Maggie Cabiness, Jonathan Kearney, Jeremy Moore, Zachary Workman and Seth Hodge; and on back row, from left: graduates Gina Chappell, Daniel Allen, Michael Bader, Andrew Spitzer, Jake Coleman, Sabrina Hoyle and Emma Britt. (VGCC Photo)

Honored as members of VGCC’s 108th BLET class were: Emma Carey Britt and Andrew Ronald Spitzer, both of Butner Public Safety; Jeremy Dale Moore and Zachary Lance Workman, both of the Granville County Sheriff’s Office; Jake Matthew Coleman and Sabrina Edward Hoyle, both of the Henderson Police Department; Seth Thomas Hodge of the N.C. Division of Parks & Recreation; Daniel Marquis Allen, Michael James Bader and Gina Christine Chappell, all of the Oxford Police Department; Kevin Ward Allen, Taylor Nicole Inscoe and Zachary Thomas Long, all of the Vance County Sheriff’s Office; Maggie Rena Cabiness and Jonathan Shawn Kearney, both of the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

The class was exceptional in at least two major ways. First, all 15 cadets who began the program successfully graduated, marking a rare 100-percent completion rate for the rigorous 16 weeks of training. Second, each member of the class was employed by a law enforcement agency by the day of their graduation.

Speaking as leader of the class, Cadet Seth Hodge thanked all the graduates’ family members and friends in attendance for their support. He added that the class had learned a great deal about teamwork. “We as a group of strangers decided on this path together, and we were tasked to complete our first major hurdle in our careers together,” Hodge said. Learning to trust one another, he said the team had then become a family. “And no matter where our lives take us from here, no matter the badge or uniform we wear, I want you to always remember just what we are: family,” he added.

VGCC Campus Police Chief Sean Newton, representing the program’s many instructors, was chosen by the cadets as the keynote speaker for their graduation. He congratulated the cadets on the completion of “a long, hard journey.”

Newton reminded the new law enforcement professionals that they would be taking an “oath of honor” to uphold and protect the Constitution, their community and their agency.

“The first thing you will uphold is the Constitution,” Newton said. “You’re taking an oath to protect the rights of all people of our state and country: the victims of crimes, the general public, and those accused of crimes. In my opinion, there is no greater responsibility than this.”

Second, they will pledge to uphold their community. “I cannot stress enough how important it is to embrace and include the community in your law enforcement efforts,” Newton said. “We’ve seen a reported breakdown between law enforcement and the communities they serve. Some of it is unfortunately true, while some may be exaggerated by social media or certain biases. Regardless of the reason, we must, as members of the law enforcement community, constantly strive to better these relationships.”

Finally, he said, graduates will swear an oath to the agencies they serve. “I would like to add all law enforcement officers in general to that category,” Newton said. “Always remember, you won’t be the only officer judged by your actions; every other officer in the country will be, too. No other profession is scrutinized as much as law enforcement, and rightfully so.”

The police chief called on graduates to think carefully about the words in their oath and remember them as they start their careers. “How you embrace these words will determine how successful your career will be,” Newton said.

Glen Boyd, interim director of Law Enforcement programs and BLET at VGCC, presented awards to several students. Kevin Allen took home the Academic Achievement Award for having the top grade average in the written tests each cadet must pass. Seth Hodge earned the Physical Fitness Award for scoring highest in the various fitness tests the cadets undergo during physical training. Michael Bader won the “Top Gun” Award for having the highest accuracy score in firearms qualification.

For more information on the BLET program, contact Glen Boyd at [email protected].

VGCC Basic Skills Grads Encouraged to ‘Go Further’

 -Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Graduates of the Adult Basic Skills programs at Vance-Granville Community College received inspirational messages along with their diplomas during commencement exercises on May 2. The students being honored in the Civic Center on VGCC’s Main Campus in Vance County were among those who have completed either the Adult High School Diploma program or the High School Equivalency program in the past year.

The principal commencement speaker for the ceremony was Rev. Dannie T. Williams, chief of human resources with the Franklin County Schools. “I am one of you,” Williams told the graduates because he completed the GED high school equivalency program himself. The 16th of 18 children, the Franklin County native recalled, “I left the high school arena because I had to go to work to provide for my family.”

Rev. Dannie T. Williams, chief of human resources with Franklin County Schools, served as principal commencement speaker at Vance-Granville Community College’s Basic Skills commencement ceremony on May 2, 2019. (Photo courtesy VGCC)

He added, “There were many who told me that a GED wouldn’t carry you anywhere, that a GED was a dead end. Wrong! This is the beginning for you; it was only the beginning for me.”

Williams advised graduates to be lifelong learners. “Don’t be satisfied with this graduation. Go further and keep moving forward. The world is waiting for what you have to offer,” he told the students. “Education will take you places you never dreamed of.” Recalling that, ironically, his high school counselor did not advise him to go to college, Williams went on to complete multiple college degrees, to work in education and serve on the county school board. Most recently, he has completed all required coursework for his doctoral degree (Ed.D.) and is currently working on his dissertation.

He called upon graduates to “be true to yourselves….love yourselves….recognize, appreciate and develop your unique talents.” He also asked them to pass on encouragement. “Be somebody’s coach,” Williams said. “As you have reached this milestone in your life, reach back to somebody else and say, ‘I’ve done it, you can do it, too.’ Coach them into being in the next graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College.”

Speaking on behalf of the graduating students was Rev. Roberta Egerton of Louisburg. She completed her High School Equivalency earlier this year after attending classes on VGCC’s Franklin County Campus.

“I have been striving for this goal for 30 years, but my family came first and then I became a foster mother,” Egerton told the audience. “Afterward, I had setbacks and sickness but I overcame, and by overcoming, I stand before you today as a proud woman of 76 years old. No matter what life may bring your way, I want you to know that you can overcome any obstacle, because I stand here as a living witness today, saying ‘never give up,’ but continue in your education.”

She is now enrolled in the Nurse Aide program at the college and plans to eventually obtain an Associate’s Degree in Nursing.

“There is nothing impossible if you want to reach your goal,” she advised her fellow graduates. “You have to maintain, to stay focused and be committed. Apply the wisdom and knowledge that you have been taught at VGCC.”

As an extra incentive for graduates to begin their collegiate studies, each received a certificate worth free tuition and fees for one semester of courses in curriculum programs or continuing education courses at VGCC, absorbing costs not covered by federal financial aid.

ADULT HIGH SCHOOL DIPLOMA GRADUATES

Keyara Shanell Moncur of Apex;

Carly Jean Minor of Butner;

Tre’Sean Quintez Clark of Chapel Hill;

Mishak Rodriguez Brown, Jr., Tinajha Al’more Davis, Cheyenne S. Days, Davionne Omneatte Dunlap, Donte L. January, Jainay Cishara Richardson, Imani Jabre Staton, Deja Nicole Stokes and Deshawna Shanyah Welcome, all of Charlotte;

Israel Tramell Melvin of Clinton;

Elijah Bowling of Creedmoor;

Kyana Yeshema Humbert and Taneesha Nicole Kirk, both of Fayetteville;

David Nathaniel Dunn, Joseph Thomas Dunn and Ryan C. Morris, all of Franklinton;

Tyequan KyAngelo Davenport of Greensboro;

Dysheka V. Baker of Greenville;

Amber Lynn Abbott, Zermaine Bianca Alston , Jasmine Jeanae Johnson, Alexis Simone Miller, Kaitlyn Ann Parrish, Alicia Monae Pointer and Quaneisha Wortham, all of Henderson;

Ladajah Rashaye Mebane of High Point;

Ty’shon D. Stokes of Hollister;

Aliyah Shonte Cabbagestalk and Amaru M. Golden, both of Hope Mills;

Arkeivious Lavar Alston of Kittrell;

Kera Cherisse Brindle of Lexington;

Trinity Janae Frazier and Karla Rebollar, both of Louisburg;

Paytyn Justice Abbott, Takiera Money Mayo and Jessica Pearson, all of Macon;

Daeaz Jacoby Holloway-Baine of Matthews;

Christian Miguel Avalos, Ivori Samon Christian and Lakeisha Monshe’ Henderson, all of Norlina;

Erin L. Banks, Bailee Michelle Barker, Jazmine Samone Brame, Jacob Lee Edmonson, Michael Austin Skiff and Darian Jaiole Yates, all of Oxford;

Erine Eliel Reed and Samuel Brian Teague, both of Raleigh;

Marcedia Rosand Warren of Roanoke Rapids;

D’Lang Williams of Salisbury;

Taj Andrew Young of Sophia;

Tayla Rae Bowen of Stem;

Joshua Lee Nelson of Thomasville;

Micah Dillon Breeden and Yerania Reyes Novas, both of Wake Forest;

Paige Cheyanne Brown, Tianna Laynia Burt, Enijah Marquel Henderson, Shea’ Moneak Jones, Alicia Lafonda Lewis, Adraya Michelle Lewis Love, Zachary Allyn Sampson, Abigail Loren Short, Anna Townes and Alexis Miracle Young, all of Warrenton;

Jarek Damonte Burwell and Sarah Elizabeth Dale, both of Youngsville;

Michael Lamont Williams of Zebulon.

 

HIGH SCHOOL EQUIVALENCY GRADUATES

Autumn Brea Finch – Gilliam of Castalia;

Tony Dale Arnold, Malisa Jensen, Willard Abram Lewis and Hunter Cameron Sparrow, all of Creedmoor;

Araceli Palacios of Durham;

Karena Allen, Kristofer Erak Bryant, Jeremy Croskey and Alyssia Lyn Pugsley, all of Franklinton;

Johnnie Ray Berry, Jr., Desmond Antwann Davis, Rondarious Malick Keith, James Allen Neal, Donnie Ray Travis and Nathan Wills, all of Henderson;

Shakayla Tatiyana Burnett of Kittrell;

Araceli Alejo-Benítez, Linda Lee Crudup, Roberta Flagg Egerton and Kira L. Tant, all of Louisburg;

Lucas Logan Matthews and Kaleigh Yvonne Overby, both of Norlina;

Drew A. Johnson and Cesar Lorenzo Vazquez, both of Oxford;

Jessica Marie King and Joel Wayne Poe, both of Stem;

Mariah Lashelle Alston, Alhaarith Ibn-Faruq Abdul Haqq and Kempton Louise Robertson, all of Warrenton;

Emily Rose Gaeta and Andrew Hillman, both of Youngsville;

Harley Raven Brantley of Zebulon.

VGCC Pins 2019 Associate Degree Nursing Graduates

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Vance-Granville Community College recognized 37 students who graduated this spring from the Associate Degree Nursing program with a pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center on May 8.

Among those honored with distinctive nursing pins at the ceremonies were nine who graduated through the LPN to ADN Transition Program, which helps Licensed Practical Nurses to continue their education and then become Registered Nurses. Those graduates were: Lakeisha Scott of Bullock; Catherine Bullock of Butner; Lilian Schleifer of Cary; Christine Atieno of Durham; Frances Beddingfield, Joseane Buckley, Teresa Coley and Wanda Davis, all of Oxford; and Leslie Judd of Raleigh.

Above: members of the 2019 Associate Degree Nursing class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their nursing pins on May 8 included, on front row, from left: Ashton Hobgood, Lakeisha Scott, Rachel Munson, Chelsea Ray; Frances Beddingfield, Emily Padgett and Katie Lee; second row, from left: Michelle Madison, Abigayle Edwards, Rhonda Williamson, Catherine Bullock, Hellen Mbuya, Wanda Davis and Melissa Ramos; third row, from left: Joseane Buckley, Keyona Bullock, Ashley Flynn, Vanna Farrar, Teresa Coley, Tuesday Mathews, Jessica Honhart and Maritza Vazquez; fourth row, from left: Leslie Judd, Phylicia Wimbush, Allison Stell, Shanae Rhoades, Takera Green, Angela Talam and Caitlin Pernell; back row, from left: Kaylin Gibson, Moses Onchonga, Tyler Thorp, Ashley Sawyer, James Temple, Brandon Smith and Christine Atieno; not pictured: Lilian Schleifer. (VGCC Photo)

The graduates who took courses in the traditional five-semester sequence included: Tuesday Mathews of Angier; James Temple and Rhonda Williamson, both of Bullock; Emily Padgett of Butner; Kaylin Gibson of Creedmoor; Takera Green and Moses Onchonga, both of Durham; Vanna Farrar and Ashley Sawyer, both of Franklinton; Katie Lee, Allison Stell, Tyler Thorp and Phylicia Wimbush, all of Henderson;

Keyona Bullock, Jessica Honhart, Rachel Munson, Caitlin Pernell and Chelsea Ray, all of Louisburg;

Ashton Hobgood, Hellen Mbuya and Shanae Rhoades, all of Oxford; Abigayle Edwards, Angela Talam and Maritza Vazquez, all of Raleigh; Michelle Madison of Selma; Ashley Flynn and Brandon Smith, both of Wake Forest; and Melissa Ramos of Warrenton.

Welcoming remarks for the ceremony were offered by Dr. Rachel Desmarais, VGCC President; Dr. Anna Seaman, Associate Degree Nursing Program Head; and Ashton Hobgood, president of the graduating class of 2019.

Academic honors were presented to graduates who completed the program with at least a 3.5 grade point average: Angela Talam, and Tyler Thorp, who was recognized for having the highest GPA in the class.

Cords were presented to students who participated as members of the National Student Nurses Association, which sponsors community service projects and professional development. These students included Bullock, Coley, Davis, Farrar, Flynn, Gibson, Hobgood, Honhart, Mathews, Munson, Padgett, Pernell, Ray, Rhoades, Sawyer, Smith, Stell, Talam and Thorp.

Instructor Brande McIlroy described the significance of the nursing pin. The unique green and gold pin identifies each nurse as a VGCC graduate and indicates that the graduate has the training and competence to serve as a professional nurse. During the ceremony, graduates were pinned by Dr. Anna Seaman and received lamps from instructor Patsy Pegram. Meanwhile, Nursing Department Chair Erica Jastrow read their biographies.

After all graduates had received pins, the lights in the Civic Center were lowered, and instructor Crystal Senter led students in reciting the “Nursing Pledge” by lamplight.

VGCC Honors Radiography Graduates at Pinning Ceremony 

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Twenty-two new graduates of Vance-Granville Community College’s two-year Radiography program were honored in a May 6 pinning ceremony in the college’s Civic Center.

The Radiography Class of 2019 included Frantz Alexis, Jr., of Chapel Hill; Shanice D. Alleyne, Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Kristen Bowman, Starsha M. Hargrove and Dwayne Huneycutt, all of Creedmoor; Allison Weaver Wiggins of Franklinton; Samantha Pierce and Paige Snider, both of Garner; Brooklyn Rooker and Ashley Bobbitt Ward, both of Henderson; Angela Basili of Hillsborough; Shayla A. Cash and Dulce Santillan, both of Louisburg; Megan Irene Proctor of Macon; Crystal Sorrell and Megan Whitman, both of Oxford; Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal, Celeste Evans and Treva Gordan, all of Roxboro; and Marina Rombout of Stem.

Above: members of the 2019 Radiography graduating class at Vance-Granville Community College who received their pins May 6 included, on the front row, from left: Marina Rombout, Megan Whitman, Angela Basili, Shanice Alleyne, Shayla Cash, Treva Gordan and Brooklyn Rooker; second row, from left: Ashley Ward, Paige Snider, Samantha Pierce, Dulce Santillan, Crystal Sorrell and Rubi Coyote; third row, from left: Karene Anderson, Matthew Battistel, Dwayne Huneycutt, Allison Wiggins and Kristen Bowman; back row, from left: Megan Proctor, Starsha Hargrove, Frantz Alexis and Celeste Evans. (VGCC Photo)

Angela M. Thomas, the Dean of Health Sciences/ Interim Program Head for Radiography, presided over the ceremony. She encouraged students to “love what you do or you will not give it your best; enhance your passion for giving and dream bigger than Disney World.” The ceremony featured live entertainment by Detroit Yancey, an Oxford native, who sang “Wind Beneath My Wings.”

The keynote speaker for the ceremony was Lewis Daughtry, Jr., one of the instructors for the program. He advised the students, “Do not think future opportunities are going to stop and wait for you. You must be ready.”

Rubi Judith Coyote Baizabal gave an address in response on behalf of her classmates. A Dean’s List student and Phi Theta Kappa inductee, she has served as one of her program’s representatives in the VGCC Student Government Association.

“Remember, do not bury your failures, let them inspire you,” Baizabal told her fellow students.

Lindsay Hinkle from the VA Medical Center in Durham was chosen by the graduating students to receive the Joint Review Committee on Education in Radiologic Technology (JRCERT) Certificate of Excellence for Clinical Educators. The students voted for Tabitha Owens from EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham as the top technologist at the clinical sites in which they received their 900 hours of practical training, while the Clinical Affiliate Award of Excellence went to the EmergeOrtho William Penn Plaza in Durham.

Receiving the JRCERT Certificate of Excellence for Students was Megan Whitman, who also received the VGCC Radiography Academic Award. In a first-ever tie, the VGCC Radiography Clinical Excellence Award was presented to two students, Megan Proctor and Brooklyn Rooker.

Instructor Anthony Twisdale shared the history of the Radiographer’s Pin before he and Angela Thomas awarded the pins to each graduate. Thomas led the graduates in reciting the Radiographer’s Pledge as the ceremonies concluded.

2019 Salute to Student-Athletes Big Success For NCSHOF

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

A total of 219 student-athletes from all over North Carolina and their chaperones were among the participants in the 2019 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame’s Salute To Student-Athlete Program.

The program recognizes students from across the state and exposes them to the many positive lessons to be learned from North Carolina’s outstanding sports heritage.

A total of 31 different schools from 21 different counties across the state were represented by the student-athletes who attended the program. Eight students from JF Webb High School attended the event and were sponsored through the Oxford Rotary Club on behalf of Bart Cleary, DDS and Joe Johnson of Builder’s Services.

Eight students from JF Webb High School attended the 2019 North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame’s Salute To Student-Athlete event. The participants were sponsored through the Oxford Rotary Club on behalf of Bart Cleary, DDS and Joe Johnson of Builder’s Services. (Photo courtesy Granville Co. Public Schools)

The two-day event included a special reception and attendance at ceremonies where the newest class of inductees to the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame was inducted at the Raleigh Convention Center. The following day, the student-athletes toured the state’s hall of fame exhibition at the North Carolina Museum of History and participated in a seminar involving some of North Carolina’s most celebrated sports figures.

Speakers at the seminar included former UNC-Chapel Hill basketball star Phil Ford and current major league baseball umpire Joe West. There was also a special panel discussion featuring several members of the NCSHOF, including Ford, West, Dee Kantner, Eddie Bridges and Paul Miller.

The student-athletes were invited to sign up for Hall Pass, a free program that offers special opportunities. Each Hall Pass member receives interesting information about the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame and the state’s sports heritage, including a monthly newsletter and special features in advance before the general public. Any student-athlete can sign up to become a Hall Pass member by visiting www.ncshof.org and clicking on Hall Pass.

North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame members inducted this year included golfer Davis Love III, NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt, Jr; former pro football player and renowned artist Ernie Barnes, former high school coaches Thell Overman and Willie Bradshaw, hunting and fishing icon Eddie Bridges, college football coach Rod Broadway, athletic administrators Gene Corrigan and Neill McGeachy, high school and college wrestling coach Steve Gabriel, basketball official Dee Kantner and college football standout Paul Miller.

Granville Early College High School Receives 2019 College Success Award

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Granville Early College High School is proud to announce that it has received the College Success Award, which honors schools that excel in ensuring students prepare for college, enroll in college and succeed once they get there.

Launched by GreatSchools.org, the leading nonprofit provider of trusted school information, the 2019 College Success Award recognizes 1,722 schools in 25 states. Award-winning schools have a successful track record of graduating students who later enroll in two or four-year colleges, are ready for college-level coursework, and persist on to their second year, according to available data from each state.

College and career-ready graduates are critical to fueling the U.S. economy, as 65 percent of jobs will require a postsecondary degree by 2020. Granville Early College High School is one of the approximately 20 percent of eligible schools in NC that won the College Success Award.

“We are extremely proud of our talented and hard-working students,” said Principal Jackie Harris.  “Our staff is dedicated to their success and continue to demonstrate excellence in their efforts.”

The College Success Award is possible because NC is leading the nation in collecting and being transparent in sharing information on how students do after high school, which is valuable information for families, educators, and policymakers.

For more information about Granville Early College High School, please visit their website:  https://gech.gcs.k12.nc.us/  Visitors and guests are welcome to visit by appointment!

‘Parent University’ Participants Treated to Youth Performances, Guest Speakers

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Granville County Public Schools’ “Parent University” kickoff on April 30, 2019, was a resounding success. The evening was punctuated by youth performances from around the district. When parents and special guests arrived, they were treated to the crescendo and raucous sounds of West Oxford Elementary students led by teacher Michael Epps.

Once inside, there was more musical excitement from the drumline of Mary Potter Middle School led by Mr. Detroit Yancey.

(Photo courtesy GCPS)

The special guest speakers were evangelist and former district and superior court judge Carolyn Thompson, founder of Abigail’s Ministry. Mrs. Thompson spoke about several child safety topics and gave parents strategies and best practices.

Our next guest speaker was Ms. Dedra Eatmon, founder and CEO of Tassel to Tassel. As a college transition strategist who imparts life skills and empowerment through her organization, she challenged our parents and kids to hold each other accountable and set goals for the destination of college.

The event also featured several choral selections from Stovall-Shaw Elementary and their choir, as well as Mary Potter Middle Schools’ Alyssa Hester who contributed beautifully to a great event.

After the event, there were community organizations and district student support departments represented to provide parents and guests with resources and support for their role as parents.

Granville County Public Schools extends a huge thank you to everyone who attended and contributed to the event’s success!

(Photo courtesy GCPS)

New VGCC President to Address Graduates as College Celebrates 50 Years

-Press Release, Vance-Granville Community College

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. As VGCC celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, Desmarais follows in the footsteps of the school’s first president, Dr. Donald Mohorn, who was the commencement speaker at the first such ceremony, back in 1970.

Dr. Rachel Desmarais, who earlier this year became the seventh president of Vance-Granville Community College, will serve as the principal commencement speaker for the college’s graduation exercises on Friday, May 10, 2019. (VGCC Photo)

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker.

Nearly 500 students are scheduled to be honored during ceremonies beginning at 6 p.m. at the gazebo by the lake on the college’s Main Campus in Vance County. For those unable to attend the event in person, VGCC will broadcast a live video feed from the ceremony online on its YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/VanceGranvilleCC).

The VGCC Board of Trustees selected Dr. Desmarais to become the college president in December 2018, while she was serving as the executive vice president and chief operating officer of Forsyth Technical Community College.

Once a student at Forsyth Tech, Desmarais became an adjunct instructor at the community college from 1996 to 1999 while also working in the private sector. She joined Forsyth Tech full-time in 2002 and served in a variety of academic and administrative roles over the next 16 years.

Jose Angel De Leon of Henderson, president of the VGCC Student Government Association, will be the student speaker. (VGCC Photo)

Desmarais earned her doctorate of philosophy in instructional design and technology from Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va., in 2015 after getting her master’s of science in information technology management from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2003. She earned a bachelor of music degree in voice performance from Mars Hill College in 1992.

She was also among fewer than 40 aspiring and emerging community college presidents nationwide who were chosen for the Aspen Institute Presidential Fellowship for Community College Excellence in 2017-2018.

De Leon is graduating from VGCC with a degree in Criminal Justice Technology. A graduate of Norlina Christian School, he has earned Dean’s List and President’s List honors at the college and has been inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

De Leon plans to continue his education at North Carolina Central University, where he will complete a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. His long-term plan is to earn his Ph.D. in criminal justice or criminology and become a college professor.

Students serving as graduation marshals will be Caroline Williamson of Bullock; Ebony Cotton of Franklinton; Hannah Edwards, Evin Swilley, April Zuniga-Trejo and Leslie Zuniga-Trejo, all of Henderson; Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg; Miranda Brown of Oxford; Rana Alashmali of Timberlake; and Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest.

 

April Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Caroline Williamson of Bullock

Ebony Cotton of Franklinton

Evin Swilley of Henderson

Gricel Arroyo of Louisburg

Hannah Edwards of Henderson

Leslie Zuniga-Trejo of Henderson

Miranda Brown of Oxford

Rana Alashmali – Timberlake

Ronnie Brodie, Jr., of Wake Forest

‘Evening of Excellence’ Honors GCPS Teachers/Employees of the Year

-Press Release, Granville County Public Schools

Evening of Excellence & Teacher of the Year

On Thursday, May 2, 2019, hundreds of parents and community members came out to a packed auditorium at South Granville High School to celebrate the second annual “Evening of Excellence” for our schools.  The event celebrated the accomplishments of two groups: all students who earned straight A’s and perfect attendance in grades K-12; and employees who demonstrated excellence through their work across the district.

Pictured left to right: Jamar Perry, HR Director; Dr. Michael Myrick, Asst Supt, Jade Currin (CENTER) 2019 Teacher of the Year, Dr. Alisa McLean, Superintendent, Beth Day, Asst Supt, Dr. Stan Winborne, Exec Director. (Photo courtesy GCPS)

Employees were honored at a reception in the school’s Media Center with refreshments and heavy hors d’oeuvres served to staff and their families prior to the event.

The event kicked off as students marched across the stage to thumping music and bright lights as they were greeted by formally dressed district staff and Board members. These proud, smiling students were honored for earning perfect attendance and straight A’s for the year. Students from every school who earned these top honors had the privilege of walking the red carpet and receiving their gold star, which they can now proudly wear as evidence of their outstanding efforts in academics.

Board chairman Dr. Tom Houlihan commented in his opening remarks, “Recognizing excellence in the academic achievement of our students is fundamental to our work. The students here tonight should be commended for their efforts, and we are so proud of what you do each and every day. You are on the right path and are models for your peers. Congratulations!”

Also recognized at the event were dozens of staff members for excellence in their profession. Those first called on to the stage were teachers who received honors (and monetary bonuses from the state) for their students’ performance on End-of-Grade tests, Advanced Placement Exams, and Career and Technical credentials. Each walked the red carpet to receive their gold star and recognition.

The next employees called on stage were the “employees of the year” from a wide range of categories. Each received a gold star plaque as they walked the red carpet.

2019 Employees of the Year:

Crystal Daye  – CG Credle – Bus Driver of the Year 2019

Deborah Adcock – JTOH/SS – Child Nutrition Employee of the Year 2019

Sarah Hardin – CESA – Clerical Employee of the Year 2019

Fred Frizzle – TRES – Custodian of the Year 2019

Christi Stephenson – Phoenix Academy – Student Support Employee of the Year  2019

Amy Clough – Phoenix Academy – Teacher Assistant of the Year 2019

Melanie Burnette – Exceptional Children – Instructional Support Employee of the Year 2019

Kasey Simmons – CG Credle – Outstanding Beginning Teacher of the Year 2019

Anthony Dickens – JF Webb – Assistant Principal of the Year 2019

Finally, senior staff and Board members recognized each of the eighteen schools’ respective teachers of the year as they were called onto the stage.

Superintendent McLean cut through the suspense-filled moment in the audience as she announced the 2nd and 1st runners up before finally announcing the 2019 Teacher of the Year, Mrs. Jade Currin, Kindergarten Teacher at Wilton Elementary School.  Ms. Currin was presented with her trophy, flowers and a check for $1,000 on behalf of the Granville Ed Foundation, who was co-sponsor of the event along with Builders Services of Creedmoor. Each of the runners up were honored with a trophy and $500 on behalf of the Granville Ed Foundation.

Ms. Currin will go on to represent the district at the regional, state and, hopefully, national level of the competition. “We are sure that Ms. Currin will be a shining star among the others recognized across the country for this top honor. We are proud of her and all she represents,” proclaimed Dr. McLean.

2019 Granville County Public Schools Teachers of the Year:

BSES:  Heather Mann

CG Credle ES:  Katherine Thompson (2nd Runner Up)

CESA:  HarleyAnn Lesher

Hawley:  Justin Dickson

GCHS:  Doug Roberson

GECHS:  Danielle Igims

JTOH:  Angela Norwood

JF Webb:  Carole Griffin

Webb SLHS:  Wendi Leas

MPMS:  Detroit Yancey

MTE:  Susan Nutt

NGMS: Brian Kaprive (1st Runner Up)

Phoenix Academy:  Bryant Blackwell

SGHS:  Freda Lemay

SSES:  Rebecca Starzynski

TRES:  Heather Wolford

WOX:  Karen Honeycutt

Wilton:  Jade Currin (WINNER)

The evening concluded with a reception of desserts and refreshments for all who attended. Granville County Public Schools is proud to continue the tradition of recognizing excellence and achievement for all!