South Georgia Technical College hosts Spring 2019 commencement ceremony
The proud past and promising future of South Georgia Technical College was on full display recently at the college’s Spring 2019 commencement ceremony Thursday, May 2nd 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 the 70th anniversary of its first graduating class this year. The college’s first group of graduates were honored in 1949.
Approximately 175 students, 34 of which were either Presidential Honor or regular Honor Graduates, received awards of either an associate degree or a diploma during the 2019 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.
South Georgia Technical College also recognized Jamera Mitchell of Eastman with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts. Mitchell was the first REACH Georgia student to enroll and graduate from a Technical College System of Georgia institution. She enrolled at South Georgia Technical College in 2017 and graduated with her associate degree in two years. Keisha Hull, Senior Manager for REACH Georgia, was at the graduation to congratulate Mitchell on her accomplishment.
REACH Georgia is the State of Georgia’s first needs-based mentorship and college scholarship program. The mission is to ensure that Georgia’s low income, academically promising students have the academic, social, and financial support needed to graduate from high school, access college, and achieve postsecondary success.
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. They earned college credit through the dual enrollment program. They were: Lorena Gary, Nancia Hall, Tyrik Lasiter, Brandon Clay McClemore, Christopher Waller, and Dusty Pressley.
Lorena Gary and Nancia Hall both earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice. Tydrik Lasiter was awarded a Barbering Diploma and Brandon Clay McClemore received an Auto Collision and Repair Diploma. Christopher Waller earned a diploma in Automotive Technology and Dusty Pressley was recognized for receiving his diploma in Welding.
SGTC President Dr. John Watford and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers presided over the graduation ceremony and introduced Rev. Bill Dupree who gave the invocation.
President Watford welcomed graduates and their families and recognized special guests. Jake Everett, Chair of the SGTC local Board of Directors, introduced the keynote speaker for the evening, South Georgia Technical College Practical Nursing Student Kelsi Cannon, who is the SGTC 2019 GOAL student.
In her brief talk to graduates and their family members, Cannon congratulated the graduates and challenged them to continue on their educational journey. She thanked South Georgia Technical College’s administration and faculty and staff for their support of the students. She also recognized the family members who helped support the graduates to be able to reach this milestone.
After Cannon’s address, President Watford awarded an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology to the family of Adrian “Goose” Johnson, a Thompson Tractor Caterpillar student who passed away in a tragic automobile accident prior to his Spring graduation. His parents, Kelly and Amber Johnson and his sister, Sarah, accepted the diploma on behalf of their son and brother.
President Watford and Vice President for Academic Affairs David Kuipers then presented the diplomas to the graduates. Eighty-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: Computer Support Specialist and Networking Specialist (Diploma) Logan Harris of Cordele; Criminal Justice Technology (Diploma) Cynthia Denise Lucas of Richland; Electrical Power Generation Dealer Service Technology (AAS) Justin Kyle Greenhaw of Danville, AL; Lee Lydon Perkins, III of Valrico, FL; and Benjamin Thomas Selman of Montgomery, AL; Electrical Systems Technology (Diploma),Charles B. Knoll of Americus; Electronics Technology (Diploma), Kevin Millard Davis of Cordele; Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology (AAS) Clayton Buie of Melrose, FL; and Chandler Adam Soucey of Silver Springs, FL; and Sports and Fitness Management (AAS) Mari Hill of Aichi, Japan.
SGTC students who earned the distinction of graduating as Honor graduates (3.70 – 3.89 GPA) and their respective fields of study included: Accounting (AAS & Diploma),Erika Lea Bailey of Americus; Agricultural Technology (AAS),Samuel Jacob Groover of Statesboro; Criminal Justice Technology (AAS),Nathan Kendall Brown of Dawson; Criminal Justice Technology (AAS and Diploma) Melissa Cortney Flakes of Americus and Nancia Hall of Americus; Culinary Arts (AAS) La’lonnie Michelle Jackson, Ocilla, GA; Early Childhood Care and Education (AAS) Amber Chancellor of Ellaville; Electrical Power Generation Dealer Service Technology (AAS )Johnathon Cole Holland of Axis, AL and Cory Lee Rix of Andersonville, GA; Electrical Systems Technology (Diploma), Christopher James White of Columbus; Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology (AAS) Brady Cleveland Bennett of Molena, AL, Justin Corbin of Taft, TN, Dalton Craft of Leesburg, GA, Noah Foster of Mount Pleasant, TN, Jonah Lanehart of Cataula, Jesse Ray Morris of Luka, MS, Noah Schrum of Jasper, AL, and Austin Michael Thornton of Carthage, MS; Motorsports Vehicle Technology (Diploma) Davis L. Brown, Jr. of Lumpkin, GA; Precision Machining and Manufacturing (Diploma),Joel C. Barnes of Covington, GA, and Brennan Morris of Americus, GA; Sports and Fitness Management (AAS),Samuel Matice of Saskatchewan, Canada, and Khadidatou Bigue Sarr of Koolack, Senegal; and Welding Technology (Diploma), Dusty Blane Pressley of Leesburg.
Twenty-three graduates are also members of the National Technical Honor Society. Those individuals are: Erika Lea Bailey of Americus; Brady Cleveland Bennett of Molena; Nathan Kendall Brown of Dawson; Artavia P. Bryant, Jr., of Cordele; Dalton Craft of Leesburg; Brittany Elizabeth Dowdey of Americus; Noah Foster of Mount Pleasant, TN; Justin Kyle Greenhaw of Danville, AL; Samuel Jacob Groover of Statesboro; Logan Harris of Cordele; Johnathon Cole Holland of Axis, AL; Nathan Hoops of Cordele; La’lonnie Michelle Jackson of Ocilla; Jonah Lanehart of Cataula; Mark Todd Manders, Jr. of Cordele; Lee Lydon Perkins, III, of Valrico, FL; Dusty Blane Pressley of Leesburg; Blake E. Rigsby of Cordele; Cory Lee Rix of Andersonville; Benjamin Thomas Selman of Montgomery, AL; Chandler Adam Soucey of Silver Springs, FL; Austin Michael Thornton of Carthage, MS, and Susan Wright of Warwick.
Eighty-five students earned Associate of Applied Science degrees and those students and their programs of study included: Accounting, Erica Lea Bailey of Americus; Agricultural Technology, Jonathan C. Atkinson, Jr., of Donalsonville, GA, Jonathan H. Beaulieu of Statesboro, GA, Cameron H. Davis of Americus, GA, Austin Lane Donald of Westminister, SC, Kason Howard Gray of TyTy, GA, Samuel Jacob Groover of Statesboro, GA; Isaiah Alexander Lawhorn of Pisgah, AL; Dylan Lopez of Plains, GA, Gage Michael McCullers of Boston, GA, Caleb Joseph Mize of Henagar, AL, Collin Lance Stinson of Lumber City, GA, Kyle Walker of Centre, AL; and Jonathan R. Yaughn of Climax, GA; Air Conditioning Technology, Prince Terrell Burns of Americus; Business Technology, Chalance’ Eshanae Deriso of Americus, Belinda Jane Hernandez of Cordele, Brittany Kidd of Unadilla, and Jasmin Tovar of Montezuma; Computer Support Specialist, Blake E. Rigsby of Cordele; Criminal Justice Technology, Chelsea Baker of Americus, Tequilla Michelle Bishop of Cordele, Nathan Kendall Brown of Dawson, Marlon Davis of Americus, Vonteresia Foster of Americus, De’Asia Quashavia Fuller of Americus, Lorena Celeste Garry of Americus, Brandon S. Glover of Americus, Nancia Hall of Americus, Alexis Denise McDowell of Ivey, and Tamear A’Keyla Wiggins of Americus; Culinary Arts, La’lonnie Michelle Jackson of Ocilla, and Jamera Mitchell of Eastman; Early Childhood Care & Education, Scotteshia Adkinson of Byromville, Shyneka Mek’kia Banks of Americus, Amber Chancellor of Ellaville, Vanessa Corretta Clark of Vienna, Brittany Nicole Dennard of Americus, Melisa Cortney Flakes of Americus, Kadarica Hoston of Americus, Amity Gail James of Ellaville, Vera Clark Lewis of Montezuma, Tiffany Monson of Americus, Sheena Reshawn Ray of Cordele, Channin S. Thorn of Americus and Deyanira Vincente of Buena Vista; Electrical Power Generation Dealer Service Technology, Justin Kyle Greenhaw of Danville, AL; Johnathon Cole Holland of Axis, AL; Lee Lydon Perkins, III, of Valrico, FL, Cory Lee Rix of Andersonville, and Benjamin Thomas Selman of Montgomery, AL; Electronics Technology, Justin Mitchell Vickery of Leslie, GA; Heavy Equipment Dealer Service Technology; Hunter Lee Baxley of Tallahassee, FL, Brady Cleveland Bennett of Molena, Clayton Buie of Melrose, FL, Austin Jeffery Coon of Tupelo, MS; Justin Corbin of Taft, TN, Dalton Craft of Leesburg, GA; Chasen Luke Edge of Monticello, GA, Noah Foster of Mount Pleasant, TN, Jonah Lanehart of Cataula, GA, Logan Richard McCreary of Evergreen, AL; Jesse Ray Morris of Luka, MS; Kelton Williams Rogers, St. Augustine, FL; Noah Schrum of Jasper, AL, Tyler L. Singletary of Praceville, FL, Jordan Daniel Smith of Calhoun, GA, Chandler Adam Soucey of Silver Springs, FL, Cody Wayne Sparks of Monticello, Garrett Wade Taylor of Lakeland, FL, Austin Michael Thornton of Carthage, MS, and Ethan Grant Wendell of Thorsby, AL; Marketing Management, Steven Bryce Driver of Americus, Tristee Brooklyn Pickle of Ellaville, and Juan B. Rivera of Vienna; Networking Specialist, Blake E. Rigsby of Cordele; and Sports and Fitness Management, Adonis Green of Stockbridge, Mari Hill of Aichi, Japan, Ricka Po’ekela Nalani Lee Jackson of Ewa Beach, HI, Samuel Matice of Saskatchewan, Canada, Aubry Maulden of St. Simons, GA, Alyssa Rose Nieves of Tampa, FL, Fatou Pouye of Kaolack, Senegal, Khadidatou Bigue Sarr of Kaolack, Senegal, and Jonathan Tchuisse of Paris, France.
After each graduate had received their award, Vice President of Academic Affairs David Kuipers declared to President Watford that the graduates had completed the requirements for graduation as set forth by the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).
Afterwards, Rev. Bill Dupree gave the benediction and the graduates recessed to the music of Pomp and Circumstance.
Photos from the graduation ceremony can be found on the South Georgia Technical College website: www.southgatech.edu in the photo gallery section and on the college’s Facebook page.
A large crowd attended the SGTC Spring 2019 graduation ceremony recently in the James S. Peters gymnasium