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GNTC Graduation Ceremony: CHS Student Finishes College Degree Before Graduating High School

Finster was the first student in Chattooga County Schools’ history to earn an associate degree before receiving his high school diploma. He plans to continue his education at Faulkner University.

Georgia Northwestern Technical College (GNTC) students donned their caps and gowns as family and friends gathered at the Forum River Center in Rome for GNTC’s Spring Commencement Ceremony on Thursday, May 9. The college awarded graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates during the ceremony and recognized students from GNTC’s nine-county service area.
Highlights from the ceremony included two dual enrollment high school students earning an associate degree from GNTC before their high school graduation and a commencement speech by GNTC instructor Leyner Argueta, the 2019 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG).
Elizabeth Carpenter of Rome High School earned an associate degree in Business Management and Dakota Finster of Chattooga High School earned his associate degree in GNTC’s Social Work Assistant program.
Carpenter plans to continue her education at Georgia Southern University and pursue a major in Marketing. She says that already having an associate degree gives her a great head start.
“This will definitely benefit me, look great on my resume and will help me be above where I need to be when I get into my career field,” said Carpenter.
Finster was the first student in Chattooga County Schools’ history to earn an associate degree before receiving his high school diploma. He plans to continue his education at Faulkner University.
After students, administrators and faculty marched into place during Processional, the Pledge of Allegiance was conducted by Jay Pickern, instructor of Business Management at GNTC. Invocation was led by Mark Upton, director of Marketing Management at GNTC.
Stuart Phillips, interim president of GNTC, began the evening’s proceedings by welcoming everyone and congratulating the graduates. He encouraged the graduating class to continue their education.
“Do not let this be the end of your journey,” said Phillips. “Whether you move forward to studying at another college, or you just need additional training for your career, never stop learning.”
Leyner Argueta, the 2019 Rick Perkins Instructor of the Year for the Technical College System of Georgia (TCSG), was the keynote commencement speaker for the evening.
“We all have struggles, we all have challenges and you being here is a perfect example of what victory looks like. I know that some of you have struggled to get to this place and for many of you tonight is a dream come true,” said Argueta. “I share with you that same passion and it is a dream for me to be able to address this graduating class.”
Michael Fennell, dean of Business and Industrial Technologies at GNTC, recognized High Honor graduates, who have a 4.0 grade point average, and Honor graduates, who have a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.99.
A special recognition for graduates that are veterans, Phi Beta Lambda members, SkillsUSA members, Student Government Association members and dual enrollment high school students was also led by Fennell.
Elizabeth Anderson, vice president of Academic Affairs at GNTC, presented graduates with associate degrees, diplomas and certificates.
Listed are graduates that participated in the 2018 Spring Commencement Ceremony showing (from left to right) the graduate’s name and program of study. This list does not include students that have graduated, but did not participate in the ceremony, or students that registered for the ceremony after the commencement program was printed:
Associate of Applied Science
Rosa I. Aguilar, Business Technology
Crystal Rose Alday, Cybersecurity
Kelli B. Arthur, Early Childhood Care and Education
Jasmine L. Askew, Respiratory Care
Kyleigh L. Ballard, Respiratory Care
Skky Monique Barrett, Respiratory Care
Tony Alexander Barrios, Accounting
Kimberlyn Bates, Business Technology
Christa F. Beall, Respiratory Care
Lindsay A. Bearden, Business Technology
Misty Blasengame, Early Childhood Care and Education
Barbara G. Booker, Business Management
Samantha A. Bragg, Diagnostic Medical Sonography
McKenzie C. Brown, Early Childhood Care and Education
Jessica Callahan, Business Technology
Jenifer C. Camacho, Early Childhood Care and Education
Aleasha G. Cannon, Business Management
Corey L. Carlile, Marketing Management
Elizabeth Grace Carpenter, Business Management
Jennifer Ines Cervantes, Business Technology
Maegan L. Cheatwood, Respiratory Care
Summer M. Cole, Early Childhood Care and Education
Shannon M. Cooper, Business Management
Jacob Cordell, Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Carmen Davis, Respiratory Care
Kayla Reece Davis-Anderson, Early Childhood Care and Education
Sherrie Dean, Early Childhood Care and Education
Grace Dunnaway, Criminal Justice Technology
William M. Elsberry, Cybersecurity
Robert B. Evans, Early Childhood Care and Education
Dakota R. Finster, Social Work Assistant
Elizabeth T. Gooch, Early Childhood Care and Education
Janell Herrera, Early Childhood Care and Education
Clarissa M. Jimenez, Business Management
Cheyenne B. Johnson, Business Management
Andrea Marie Jordan, Computer Support Specialist
Kristina Marie Keith, Business Management
Maciej F. Kozlowski, Networking Specialist
Julie P. Langford, Respiratory Care
Brandy Jean LeVan, Computer Support Specialist
Courtni Lomenick, Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Allie M. Long, Logistics and Supply Chain Management
Ashley M. Long, Business Management
Jasmaine Lovelace, Respiratory Care
Haley L. Mann, Business Management
Kimberly C. Marbutt, Business Management
Teresa K. Marshall, Early Childhood Care and Education
Jose L. Martinez, Electronics Technology
Marlena Mondragon, Early Childhood Care and Education
Hannah N. Nesbitt, Culinary Arts
Jordan Bartley Newton, Industrial Systems Technology
Mary Ann Owens, Business Management
Maritza Perez, Early Childhood Care and Education
Christopher M. Pope, Marketing Management
Nya M. Powell, Business Technology
Jonathan D. Privett, Networking Specialist
Isabell Rincon, Business Management
Dallas W. Roberts, Business Management
Ashley M. Rosser, Business Management
Thomas Scott, Marketing Management
April Dawn Scruggs, Respiratory Care
Jayla Shenee Shropshire, Business Management
Michael C. Siefert, Networking Specialist
Emily M. Smith, Business Management
Charlina B. Smithers, Social Work Assistant
Myra Rutledge Stone, Business Management
Jarod Streetman, Early Childhood Care and Education
Hannah J. Taylor, Early Childhood Care and Education
Rebecca A. Thomas, Criminal Justice Technology
Alexandra R. Trotter, Respiratory Care
Matthew Vaughn, Culinary Arts
Olivia Rachel Venable, Business Management
Mariah S. Wallace, Early Childhood Care and Education
Amanda Randale Watson, Web Site Design/Development
Karah Ryan Witt, Accounting
Holly L. Wright, Business Management
Amanda L. York, Early Childhood Care and Education
Jose C. Zamora, Automotive Technology
John David Zapp, Automotive Technology
Associate of Science in Nursing
Neva Caroline Ayer, Nursing
Santana Nicole Baker, Nursing
Kayla Denise Brown, Nursing
Blakely Campbell Burgess, Nursing
Leigha Hayes Byars, Nursing
Stephanie N. Gagliardi, Nursing
Krista Marie Hammontree, Nursing
Teresa Land, Nursing
Tina Renee Minter, Nursing
Amy Moriah Moore, Nursing
Amy B. Neighbors, Nursing
James D. Rewis, Nursing
Ashley S. Wilburn, Nursing
Diploma
Jose Alvarado, Industrial Systems Technology
Dana L. Brannon, Early Childhood Care and Education
Tevin M. Brown, Business Technology
John H. Bunch, Air Conditioning Technology
Norberto Castaneda Vazquez, Electrical Systems Technology
Daniel J. Davis, Automotive Technology
Larissa J. Douthit, Social Work Assistant
Catherine R. Edwards, Criminal Justice Technology
Malik S. Gleaves, Air Conditioning Technology
Jaweah L. Hamilton, Early Childhood Care and Education
Haley Johnson, Business Technology
John C. King, Computer Support Specialist
David Lebaron, Auto Collision Repair
Abner J. Magana, Electrical Systems Technology
Latorya F. Manning, Business Management
Erika Y. Perez, Early Childhood Care and Education
Brittany N. Thrasher, Marketing Management
Tamara Villasenor, Business Management
Felicia D. Waldon, Criminal Justice Technology
Hilliard A. Williams, Welding and Joining Technology
Technical Certificate of Credit
Ella Butler Bennett, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
Jocelyn Betsabe Cisneros, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
Thomas Ray Cox, Phlebotomy Technician
Cinthia Guadalupe Dominguez Andrade, Human Resource Management Specialist
Paul L. Flurry, Commercial Truck Driving
Macy P. Forrister, Medical Front Office Assistant
Melanie Brooke Fowler, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
Anna Davis George, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
Drema N. Hall, Phlebotomy Technician
Holli R. Hendrix, Medical Coding
Aemy M. Lopez-Vicente, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist
Kaelyn E. Madden, Phlebotomy Technician
Jocelyn Medina, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist
Mackinzie C. Parrott, Health Care Assistant
Adrianna Nicole Resendez, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
Abigail L. Sisk, Medical Coding
Kristen Ann Skramstad, Health Care Assistant
Jessica Smith, Phlebotomy Technician
Emily Anne Thompson , Phlebotomy Technician
Ashley Adriana Vasquez, Early Childhood Care and Education Basics
Monika Yoana Vasquez-Lopez, Project SUCCESS Manufacturing Specialist
Vanessa Vega, Medical Front Office Assistant
Anna White, Phlebotomy Technician
Georgia Northwestern Technical College provides quality workforce education to the citizens of Northwest Georgia. Students have the opportunity to earn an associate degree, diploma, or a certificate in business, health, industrial, or public service career paths. This past year, 12,785 people benefited from GNTC’s credit and noncredit programs. With an annual credit enrollment of 7,499 students, GNTC is the largest college in Northwest Georgia. GNTC has an additional enrollment of 5,286 people through adult education, continuing education, business and industry training, and Georgia Quick Start. For more information about GNTC, visit us at www.GNTC.edu. GNTC is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an Equal Opportunity Institution.

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