South Georgia Technical College hosts Spring 2018 commencement ceremony
The proud past and promising future of South Georgia Technical College was on full display recently at the college’s Spring 2018 commencement ceremony Tuesday, May 8th at 6 p.m. in the James S. Peters Gymnasium on the Americus campus in front of a capacity crowd. South Georgia Tech is celebrating its 70th anniversary this year.
Approximately 200 students, 35 of which were either Presidential Honor or regular Honor Graduates, received awards of either an associate degree or a diploma during the 2018 May 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.
Five high school students were awarded an associate degree or diploma from South Georgia Technical College at the spring graduation before they received their high school diploma. Erica Monts and Brandon Cochran both from Americus-Sumter High School were awarded their associate of applied science degrees in Criminal Justice at the graduation. Deo Cochran who is an SGTC employee was able to present her son, Brandon with his degree.
The other three high school students who took part in dual enrollment classes with SGTC and received diplomas included: Jerome Smith and Damien Jackson from Americus-Sumter High School. Both earned their Barbering Diploma before high school graduation. Xavier Jackson, Barbering Instructor at SGTC, awarded his son Damien his diploma at graduation. The other high school student recognized was Joshua Suggs from Crisp County High School who earned a welding diploma. Each of the high school students wore a blue cord symbolizing their dual enrollment status with South Georgia Tech.
SGTC President Dr. John Watford and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers presided over the graduation ceremony and introduced Rev. Michael Cunningham who gave the invocation.
President 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, Crisp County Center Welding Student Noah McCleskey, who is the SGTC 2018 GOAL student.
In his brief talk to graduates and their family members, McCleskey congratulated the graduates. “You have successfully made the first step into creating a very profitable future for yourselves. And by graduating from a technical college you have made yourself more marketable in the real world. You have been taught by some of the best instructors and you have real hands on experience in the programs you studied.”
McCleskey added that the technical education graduates are the individuals who help build the economy. “The entire world runs because of men and women like yourselves, who obtained a very valuable technical education. And thanks to the Governor’s Hope Career Grant many programs at a technical college are tuition free. With your technical education you will be less in debt and you can be very successful. I congratulate you for making a great decision to attend South Georgia Technical College. Don’t let anybody tell you that you cannot be successful. I am proud of each and every one of you for putting your best foot forward and doing what it takes to graduate.”
After McCleskey’s address, President Watford and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kuipers and the SGTC Deans for Academic Affairs, presented the diplomas to the graduates. Ninety-five students received an Associate of Applied Science degree and 83 unduplicated diplomas were awarded.
SGTC students who earned the distinction of graduating as Presidential Honor graduates and their respective fields of study included: Accounting (AAS & Diploma) Annie Streeter of Americus; Air Conditioning Technology (Diploma) Shelby Neil Polk of Americus; Early Childhood Care and Education (AAS) Kristina Denise Harp of Oglethorpe, GA; Electrical Power Generation Dealer Service Technology (AAS), Logan Boyd of Madison, FL; Marshal Jones of Elberfeld, IN; and Douglas Teague of Starkville, MS; Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology (AAS) Jason Dillard of Keystone Heights, FL; Zachary Moore of Saltillo, MS; Paul Eugene Shaw of Sneedville, TN; William Everett Shaw of Sneedville, TN; and Brian Weber of Columbus; and Motorsports Vehicle Technology (Diploma) Jacob Cameron Smith of Americus.
SGTC students who earned the distinction of graduating as Honor graduates (3.70 – 3.89 GPA) and their respective fields of study included: Air Conditioning Technology (Diploma),Thomas Reed Harpe of Americus and Brian McDowell of Cordele; Agricultural Technology (AAS), John Cade Jackson of Alapha and Noah Ryan Phillips of Albany; Business Technology (Diploma), Melinda Allen of Ashburn; Computer Support Specialist and Networking Specialist (Diploma) DaKata Hall of Cordele; Criminal Justice Technology (AAS), Emerson Romoz Lundy of Vienna and Frederica Onecia Troutman of Cordele; Culinary Arts (AAS), Joshua Andrew Chappell of Cordele and Felicia Michelle Young of Vienna; Electrical Power Generation Dealer Service Technology (AAS) Jason Amador of St. Augustine, FL; and Joshua Shelnutt of Loganville; Electronics Technology (AAS), Brandon Wildes of Cordele; Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology (AAS) Zachary Bivins of Ellaville; Jacob Lee Brown of Pensacola, FL; Braden McDaniel of French Camp, MS; and Blair Revels of St. Augustine, FL; Marketing Management (AAS), Wilbur Randall Mathews, Jr. of Cordele; Medical Assisting (Diploma), Jennifer Marie Nation of Pineview; Sports and Fitness Management (AAS), Aderinto Esther Adenike of Lagos, Nigeria; and Kana Suzuki of Hamamatsu, Japan; and Welding Technology (Diploma), Ethan Phillips of Pitts and Corbin Stinehelfer of Cordele.
Twelve graduates are also members of the National Technical Honor Society. Those individuals are: Melinda Allen of Ashburn, Joshua Andrew Chappell of Cordele, Dakata Hall of Cordele; Kristina Denise Harp of Oglethorpe, Wilbur Randall Mathews, Jr., of Cordele, Ethan Phillips of Pitts, Corbin Stinehelfer of Cordele, Brett Wade of Cordele, Annie Streeter of Americus, Ronneka Latrice Tullis of Americus, Brandon Wildes of Cordele, and Felicia Young of Vienna.
Ninety-five students earned Associate of Applied Science degrees and those students and their programs of study included: Accounting, Annie Streeter of Americus; Agricultural Technology, Sean Thomas Barnett of Lincoln, AL; Kevin Leon Barthle of Lakeland, FL; Daniel Lee Black of Ocilla; Lucas McQue Boddiford of Sylvania; Clayton M. Brooks, Baconton; Garrison Clark Courtney of Cairo; Hunter Faulk of Tifton; Jackson Martin Griffin of Barnwell, SC; Jonathon Chase Griffin, Westville, FL; Patrick Holderfield of Boaz, AL; Jordan Cade Jackson of Alpaha; Ethan David Jones of Sycamore; Michael Dewey Lellie, II, of Sebastian, FL; Noah Ryan Phillips of Albany; James Kaleb Timmerman of Dawson; Colton Micah Vaughn of Lucedale, MS: Landon Todd Watts of Munford, AL; Austin Michael Westbrook of Malone, FL; Zachery Whatley of Christmas, FL; Grady Clay Womble of Cairo; JaQuan Delouis Wright of Albany; and Jake Dylan Young of Cordele; Air Conditioning Technology, Levi Waters of Americus; Business Technology, Troy Daniel Thompson of Montezuma; Computer Support Specialist, Ashley Desiray Hardwick of Richland and Ronneka Latrice Tullis of Americus; Criminal Justice Technology, Shuntuta Brown of Richland, Brandon Cochran, Antoninette L. Johnson, Russell Johnson, Sonyona Josey, Kendra Denise Mable-Hixon, Erica Shanice Monts, Tami Richard Smith, and Shaketia Tyson of Americus; Emerson Romoz Lundy of Vienna, Kayla Michelle Murphy of Ellaville; Tamekia Parker of Atlanta, Katricsula J. Taylor of Unadilla, Demarkis Teasley of Dawson and Fredrica Onecia Troutman of Cordele; Culinary Arts,
Joshua Andrew Chappell of Cordele; Coleman G. Cleveland and William Joseph Martinez, Jr, of Americus; and Felicia Michelle Young of Vienna; Drafting Technology, Roman Lee Hawkins of Americus; Early Childhood Care & Education, Candace Davis of Milan, Terri Kristina Gaines, Kristina Denise Harp and Ashley Nicole Jackson of Oglethorpe; and Lashawnda Mitchell and Cortisa Lashay Snipes of Americus; Electrical Power Generation Dealer Service Technology, Jason Amador of St. Augustine, FL; Logan Boyd of Madison, FL; Marshal Jones of Elberfield, IN; Logan Lauk of Palm Bay, FL; Rance Colton Starr Poss of Barnsville; Ryan Sanford of Parrish, AL; Joshua Shelnutt of Loganville; Douglas Teague of Starkville, MS; and Hunter John Windham of Chipley, FL; Electronics Technology, Justin Lee Bailey of Ellaville, Alex Thomas Hill of Reynolds, and Brandon Wildes of Cordele; Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology; Zachary Bivins of Ellaville; Ronnie Paul Brewer of Crossville, TN; Jacob Lee Brown, Pensacola, FL; Brent Lamar Coppock, Buchanan; Jason Dillard, Key Stone Heights, FL; Theron Engle of Ocean Springs, MS; Sean K. Evans of Tallahassee, FL; Richard Lone of DeLeon Springs, FL; Chad Austin Lower of Plant City, FL; Branden McDaniel of French Camp, MS; Jordan Wesley McEver of Kennesaw; Zachary Moore of Saltillo, MS; Daniel Chase Peoples of Troy, AL; Blair Revels of St. Augustine, FL; David Allen Zopar Robins of Forsyth; Paul Eugene Shaw and William Everette Shaw of Sneedville, TN; Brian Weber of Columbus; and Garrett Wells of St. Augustine, FL; Marketing Management, Wilbur Randall Mathews, Jr of Cordele; and Sports and Fitness Management, Aderinto Esther Adenike of Lagos, Nigeria; Dawan Bass of Baltimore, MD; Michael Boone of Charlotte, NC; Sceret Consuela Ethridge of Argyle; Houlfat Mahouchiza of Nice, France; Davesha Marie Murray of St. Simons Island; Shawn Dee Robinson of Americus; Torico Simmons of Gordon, Kanna Suzuki of Hamamatsu, Japan, and Marquel D’Marcus Wiggins of Oglethorpe.
After each graduate had received their award, Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers declared to President Watford that each graduate had completed the requirements for graduation as set forth by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).