SGTC holds fall GED graduation ceremony
South Georgia Technical College held its 2017 Fall General Educational Development Diploma (GED) Graduation ceremony in the James S. Peters gymnasium on the SGTC Americus campus recently.
Dr. Joseph Comeau, Assistant Professor of Sociology at Georgia Southwestern State University, was the guest speaker at the ceremony where approximately 30 students from Sumter, Crisp, and Marion counties received their general equivalency diplomas.
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford 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 reminded them that this was the first step on their educational journey and that South Georgia Technical College had over 200 different programs available for them to continue their education. He also talked with the GED graduates about the $500 voucher that they receive from the Technical College System of Georgia to continue their education.
“This is an exciting day for many of you here tonight,” said Watford to the large crowd who gathered to support the graduates and their accomplishments. “We are here to honor you and your achievements tonight. We also urge you to continue on your educational journey.”
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 Dr. Joseph Comeau as the guest speaker.
Dr. Comeau also congratulated each of the graduates on achieving their GED and told them that he was so pleased to be a part of this important chapter of their lives even if it was as a footnote. “Twenty-four years ago, I got my GED. I was a high school dropout that came back and got my GED and then continued on to complete a few other degrees,” said Dr. Comeau who holds a Ph.D., in Sociology from the University of North Texas, a M.Ed., in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and a B.S. in Organizational Sociology from Grand Canyon University.
“I plan to tell you some things that I would have wanted to tell myself 24-years ago when I was standing where you are today. First, you are an overcomer. Since you are a GED graduate, at some point in your life, you overcame something and said I will not be denied this. No one can ever take this moment from you. You are an overcomer and I challenge you to not let this be the end of your educational journey. Become a lifelong learner. Always be learning something,” said Dr. Comeau.
Next Dr. Comeau challenged the graduates to have a vision for their life. “Not a fantasy but a vision with a plan that is attainable,” explained Dr. Comeau. “Vision provides motivation. It is a point of reference for future decision making.” He also encouraged the graduates to seek out and listen to people with experience and expertise in the area that they wish to pursue.
“Don’t be stationary. It is easier to steer a car that is moving than to steer a car that is stationary,” explained Dr. Comeau. “Move forward toward your goals. Start now, even if you don’t know what you want to do, take some general education courses. Move forward.”
And finally, he encouraged students to value relationships, treat people with value and kindness. “Be the type of person that other people want to be around. In closing, be proud of your accomplishment, but do not let this be the end.”
After Dr. Coeau’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 graduation ceremony was sponsored in part by the Americus Rotary Club and supported by many community businesses and organizations including: HOPES – Helping Ourselves Pursue Education in Schley County, Marion County Family Connections/Advisory, and Webster County Family Connections/Advisory.
Special thanks to those individuals and organizations who help provide GED scholarships including: Ruth Jones/Girls Educating with Donations Scholarships; Cordele Housing Authority, Americus-Sumter Chamber of Commerce, and Schley County Certified Literate Community/HOPES.
Listed below are the GED graduates from the individual counties who participated in the ceremony:
Earnest Clemmons, Robert Mitchell Harris, Zackery Hobby, Mykah Holman, Savannah Hughes, Kendall Kendrick, Robert Logan, Morris McCrary, Jr., Bailey Poole, Caleb Woodall, Keith Renfroe, Messiah Plaza, and Rosario Montes;
Cain Potts, Anthony Adkins, Derek Dickerson, and Adrian Jakab;
Traevon Blackshear, Nytesia Hill, Quantravious Ray, Ronald Jones, Ragan Parker, Meagan Aughtman, Catherine Hutchens, Leslie Wade, and Megan Moore;
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 the GED Examiner. The South Georgia Tech Adult Education instructors include: Cindy Bagwell, Carlene Beckwith, Mia Collier, Lissa Faircloth, Carla Hayes, Tracy Israel, Angie Kauffman, Mary King, Leslie Rye, Timetrice Thomas, Tonya Visage and Virginia Wilson.
For more information about the Adult Education and GED classes, contact South Georgia Tech at 229.931.2565.