GREENWOOD — The James Medford Family Event Center at Piedmont Technical College welcomed more than 275 Piedmont Technical College graduates for commencement ceremonies to celebrate their accomplishments.
Dr. Ray Brooks welcomed graduates, family and guests to celebrate the accomplishments of the graduates.
“In the spirit of the season, you have given yourself a gift which is investing in yourself,” said Brooks, president of the college. “It doesn’t matter where you start. It’s where you end up and what you do to get to that point and prepare yourself for a life well-lived so that you have no regrets.”
Commencement speakers were Stephen Barklow, an HVAC major from Greenwood; Alfrieda Jackson, an associate degree nursing student from Aiken; and Misty Todd, an early care and education graduate from Waterloo.
Barklow impressed upon the graduates that it was never too late to learn.
“They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but I’m here as living proof that the staff at Piedmont Tech can do that,” he said. “A friend once told me that the greatest gift is to remain teachable and that is so true.”
Jackson asked her fellow graduates to go out and make a difference in the world.
“We are very lucky to have had great parents, spouses, children, family and friends who gave a part of themselves so that we could succeed,” she said. “I charge you, my fellow classmates, to go out and pay it forward.”
Todd took the opportunity to remember a classmate, Alisha Martin Boyter, who was killed in an automobile accident in the fall.
“As I speak tonight, I am reminded of the shortness of life,” she said. “I’m sure if Alisha was here tonight, she would tell you that you only get one chance in this life to make a difference, so make the most of it.”
Several graduates were recognized for highest academic achievement within their counties of residence. The winners by their counties of residence and their majors were:
Abbeville: Jason Parnell, Associate in Science
Greenwood: Dedric Norman, computer technology; Jessica Wakefield, business; Stephen Barklow, HVAC; and William Doherty, machine tool technology
Laurens: Misty Todd, early care and education; and Dillon Sherfield, criminal justice
Newberry: Carrie Harmon, administrative office technology
Saluda: Susan Shuler, administrative office technology
Chappells: *Marlana Faith Alvarez, associate in arts.
Little Mountain: Whitney Jeanette Smith, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.
Newberry: Nathan Alex Beck, associate in applied science, major in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; Frank Hare, associate in applied science, major in heating, ventilation and air conditioning technology; Tyler Addison Kesler, associate in applied science, major in engineering graphics technology; Quenton Anthony Lyles, associate in arts; Schnora M. Lyles, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, accounting concentration; Chiquita M. Maybin, certificate in office technician; Tyler Keith Mills, associate in applied science, major in machine tool technology; Benjamin Derrick Moore, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice; April M. Richardson, associate in applied science, major in nursing; *Henry H. Robinson, certificate in pc technician; and Cynthia Dianne Williams, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration.
Pomaria: Andrea Irelle’ Heller, associate in applied science, major in general business, general business concentration.
Prosperity: Shayla Dominique Counts, associate in arts; Elizabeth Harris Lawson, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; and Latonya Kachieka Wise, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing.
Whitmire: Amy Marie Crumley, diploma in applied science, major in practical nursing; ***Carrie C. Harmon, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical coding/billing concentration; and Tiffany Michelle Hopkins, associate in applied science, major in administrative office technology, medical concentration.
***Summa Cum Laude-4.0
**Magna Cum Laude-3.75-3.99