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Adult Education Honor's Banquet Held - 52 Graduate

The Brantley County Adult Education Honor’s Banquet was held May 14, 2007, at the Nahunta First Baptist Church Social Hall. The elegant event feted 19 of the 52 graduates of the Brantley County program, 17 of whom are honor graduates. The Brantley County Family Connection organization sponsored the memorable evening.

Gary Strickland, chairman of the Advisory Committee for Adult Education, welcomed the graduates and guests and expressed his appreciation to Mrs. Justice for her work.

Several former graduates shared their success stories with the audience; each one praised the program and thanked Mrs. Justice and Jeanette Tucker for their endless help and encouragement.

Mr. Charles Whitfield gave the invocation, and graduates and guests enjoyed a delicious meal catered by K D’s Café & Catering.

Dr. Gail Thaxton, OTC President, expressed her gratitude to the advisory committee members and other guests who support community improvement through education. To the graduates, she said, “You have changed your life. Prior to this moment, you had barriers that now you no longer have.”

Dr. Thaxton also thanked Mrs. Justice for inspiring others and helping them reach goals that they never thought they could reach.

Mr. Peter Mills, Director of Adult Education, shared his pride and appreciation for the Adult Education staff, the GED graduates, and the Adult Education program, as a whole.  He explained the truth in the phrase, “It’s a new day,” referring to the positive impact of education and literacy.  

Reverend Tim Rowell, pastor of Hoboken Baptist Church, was the featured speaker for the evening. He encouraged the graduates to be “light and salt” and “a 100 watt bulb in a 40 watt world.” He extended his congratulations to the group and told them that they are now in the process of making a better world for themselves and their families.

Jan Thrift delivered a beautiful, uplifting message to the graduates through music; she sang “Up Where We Belong.”

Afterwards, several graduates shared how they had overcome difficulties and hardships to achieve their goal of receiving their GED.

Mrs. Justice then recognized the following honor graduates: William Blane Brantley; Ayla Marie Coffman; Sandra Bennett Gibson; John William Graham, Jr.; Haley Susan Herndon; Maegan Highsmith; Leon Judson Holley, III; Ashley Lynette Hunter; Darwin James LaGarce; Jared Brian Little; Heather Nicole Mercer; Seleta Nicole Miller; Ashley Lauren Noel; Stephanie Marie Robbs; Jessie Wayne Rowell; Mary Katherine Smith; and Joshua Paul Williams.

Other graduates recognized as accomplishing this milestone in their lives were Beverly Nicole Altamirano; Richard James Black; Christopher Kyle Branch; Angel Marie Brock; Ginnie Gail Carter; Marikay Loretta Crosby; Mary Elizabeth Farnum; Danielle Nicole Hendren; Jessica Rae Highsmith; Brittany Danielle Houser; Sean Maleki Hughey; Tommy Ray Jones; Laura Lynn Kellogg; Jessica Lenore Leal; Tiffany Michelle Leverett; Edward Owen Lowther; Brandon James Martin; Justin James Middleton; Louise Denise Nipper; Kacey Larane Popham; Kaitlin Leanne Porcelain; Brittany Sherrie Rhoden; Cody Allen Shattuck; Dustin Craig Shepard; Devin Lee Smith; Christopher Jordan Smith-Hale; Ryan Anthony South; Terrance Christopher Steedley; Tammie Elaine Walthour; Matthew Mark White Eagle; Amanda Kay Williams; Paul Edward Williams, Jr.; and Kenneth Brandon Williams.

Mrs. Justice presented each graduate in attendance with an education trophy with the student’s name and Brantley County Adult Education, 2007, inscribed on it. To the honor graduates, she gave a book titled, “It’s Never Too Late.”

There were several special guests in attendance. Among them were several from the Brantley County Adult Education Advisory Committee, including Gary Strickland (OTC Board Member), Ruby Moody, Curtis Tumlin (OTC Foundation Trustee), Barbara Maefield, and Dot Hickox.

Other business and community leaders and elected officials in attendance included Bobby Creech, Regional Education Coordinator in the Office of Adult Literacy (Atlanta); Gloria Ruth Rollins, Assistant for GED Testing; Charles Whitfield (President) and Laura Kelley (Director) of the Brantley County Family Connection program; and Robert Thomas, Sheriff of Brantley County.

OTC staff in attendance included Dr. Gail Thaxton, President; Dr. Neil Aspinwall, VP of Economic Development; Cindy Tanner, Director of Public Relations; and Peter Mills, Director of Adult Education.

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Honor Graduates Recognized at Banquet (L to R): Leon Holley, Sandy Gibson, Ashley Hunter, Blane Brantley, John Graham, and Ashley Noel

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Graduates Receive Certificates (L to R): Peggy Justice (Instructor), Devin Smith, Kacey Popham, Denise Nipper, Mark White Eagle, Paul Williams, Cody Shattuck, Brandon Martin, Brittany Rhoden, Jessica Leal, Beverly Altamirano, Laura Kellogg, Angel Brock, and Ginnie Carter


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