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CPTC's First Commencement Recognizes 148 Graduates

The first graduating class of Coastal Pines Technical College pause to record the historical occasion and personal milestone that marks the successful completion of a commendable goal. Commencement speaker, Dr. Patrick Ebri, labeled them trailblazers and challenged graduates with making a difference. Congratulations to this group of trailblazers and history makers. Best wishes for many more celebratory events.

The first commencement of Coastal Pines Technical College (CPTC) was held Saturday, January 31, 2015, at the Wayne County High School 1,140-seat Kay Cagle Theatre of Performing Arts. The ceremony, which took place before a packed auditorium of proud family members and supporters, recognized 148 graduates.

Dr. Patrick Ebri, vice president for human resources at Southeast Georgia Health System in Brunswick, delivered the keynote address. The ceremony began at 11 a.m. with the processional, followed by a warm welcome from Mr. Lonnie Roberts, college provost. Senior faculty member, Ms. Margaret Brunson, carried the ceremonial mace and led the audience in the “Star Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key. The familiar anthem was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. Then accounting degree graduate Monique Bedard gave the invocation.

CPTC President Dr. Glenn Deibert congratulated graduates and thanked faculty and staff for their work and dedication to students and education.

“Graduation signifies the milestone of completing your chosen program of study and the goal you set for yourself,” said Deibert to graduates. “You are successful, and you should be very proud. You had to believe in yourself, and we know many others believed in you and your ability as well.”

Dr. Deibert also recognized graduates’ friends and family as being influential in their progress and success. He asked the faculty to stand and described them as “the biggest influence on our graduates.” Addressing faculty, Deibert said, “Thank you for your hard work, dedication and for being so influential in our graduates’ educational journey.”

Following an introduction by Dr. Deibert, the keynote speaker took the podium.  Dr. Patrick Ebri first joined the Southeast Georgia Health System in 1995 as a radiologic and ultrasound technologist. He holds a Ph.D. in business administration and serves on a number of academic and health-related boards, including the Coastal Georgia Regional Health Network and Coastal Pines Technical College Board of Directors. For a full bio, visit

After saluting the graduates, Dr. Ebri encouraged graduates to set their sights high.  “Each generation stands on the shoulders of the past generation,” said Ebri, and “the future is in your hands.”  He described each graduate as a star and encouraged them to remain a star by defining their success and working toward it.  Ebri assured the group there are no shortcuts to success.  He challenged them to dream big, be strong, be accountable and be respectful of others.  In his conclusion, Ebri described the class as “trailblazers,” the first graduates of Coastal Pines Technical College.

Dr. Ebri’s candor gave the highest level of credence to his message and his delivery and humor made the speech entertaining, memorable, and actionable.

Catharine Simmons, a radiologic technology degree graduate and the 2014 Georgia Occupational Award of Leadership (GOAL) student, presented the “Student’s Point of View.”  She spoke of the journey all graduates share, the sacrifices made and the pending rewards. She reminded graduates of why the ceremony is so special and encouraged them to acknowledge the support they have received from family and friends along the way.

Following Simmons’ remarks, Dr. Deibert, assisted by Mr. Ted Buford, CPTC board chair, Dr. Al Cunningham, vice president for academic affairs, Mr. Walter Pinder, dean for academic affairs; and Ms. Tara Eichfeld, registrar, conferred the associate degrees, diplomas, certificates of credit, and Georgia GED diplomas.  

According to the registrar, Tara Eichfeld, 664 students met the required coursework and criteria for graduation from a credit program during the first two terms of CPTC (summer and fall 2014). Eight hundred twenty-two credentials were awarded to these 664 individuals. Of the 664, the following graduates participated in the January 31, 2015, commencement:

Heidi Barber, Monique Bedard, Patricia Bethea, Jennice Boykin, Catherine Braddy, Donna Branch, Frances Brown, Victoria Bullard, Brandy Cardwell, Bridgette Carlin, Haleigh Carter, Lauren Carter, Lessie Carter, Tiffany Carter, Chelsea Cason, Fedrick Cassius, Katie Coomer, Brittany Crawford, Brittany Crews, Ashley Crosby, Jamie Daniels, Casey     Davis, Cheryl Davis, Stephanie Deaton, Catherine Dell, Marcus Denby, Andrea Dennard, Pamela Devereaux, Marissa Dubberly, Melinda Durden, Leslie Dusterdieck, Emily Farr, Jessica Fleming, LaDonna Gibson, Rhonda Griffin, Samantha Griffis, Jessica Gutzwiller, Justin Hall, Demarcus Hampton, Demekia Hawkins, Christopher Heath, Aronica Henry, Rebecca Hinnant, Paula Hodges, Danielle Hopkins, Jessie Hunt, Laurell Ivey, Sintrania James, Dana Johnson, Hannah Johnson, Marsha Johnson, Misti Johnson, Roderick Johnson, Matthew Jones, Dana Jordan, Anna Kea, Mindy Keller, Joanna Kiley, Ashlea King, Felix Lara, Kayle Malphus, Angela Mayer, Victoria McCarthy, Sherri McCauley, Jeremy Mcfarlin, Shalecia McPherson, Ernestina Merced, Joshua Meunier, Ashley Mixson, Elvis Morales, Esther Morgan, Jennifer    Morris, Fredrick Moses, Wadeedah Muhammad, Jodi Mullis, April Music, Krystal Nelson, Alisha Nolan, Sumoyia O'Hara, Kayla Palmer, Lea Ann Parker, Dylan Prescott, Cynthia Ratliff, Frank Ratliff, Andrea Reisenweber, Howard Rentz, Valencia Rutledge, Heather Salinas, Alexandra Santana, Michael Scheirer, Catharine Simmons, Taylor Smart, Deanna Smith, Kaitlin Smith, Tonya Smith, Lauren Sowell, Quinn Sowell, Wilbur Spatcher, James Spivey, Noelle Stone, Iman Suliman, Skylar Sumner, Amber Swain, Martin Symons, Amanda Tanner, Haleigh Tanner, Rebecca Ternest, Kristy Thomas, Jessica Thornton, Teresa Thornton, Whitney Tomberlin, David Tomlinson, Brandi Tucker, Scarlet Turner, Courtney Tyre, Beverly Vickers, Tierra Walker, Rebecca Wall, Ieshia Weatherspoon, Christopher Wells, Ann Westberry, Heidi White, Maria White, Natalee Whittington, Ketina Wilcox, Christopher Wilkerson, Esther Williams, Lindsay Williams, Phyllis Williams, Shala Williams, Lindsey Williamson, and Tashae Wilson.

Graduates with a 4.0 grade point average earned the privilege of wearing the President’s Medallion, a gold ribbon coupled with a silver pendant. Gold cords identified honor graduates. Associate degree graduates donned royal blue and chartreuse hoods, and members of the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS) wore a white sash. To receive an invitation to join the NTHS, students must have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.75 and a work ethic grade of 2.0 or higher. All other cords were worn to indicate membership in a student club or organization.

According to Kelly Peacock, executive director of adult education, 35 individuals have graduated from the CPTC adult education program since July 1, 2014. Sixteen of the 148 graduates who walked across the stage were participating in the ceremony because they had earned a General Education Development (GED) diploma from the CPTC adult education program. Ms. Peacock called their names as they walked across the stage to receive the credential and be recognized:
Camden County
Cassondra Smith

Glynn County
Diana Bibby, Cassandra James, Samantha Mele, and Meagan Vinson
Jeff Davis County
Ryan Herndon and Adrianna Hobart

Long County
Christie Rhoden

Pierce County
Sue Dean and Gary Sellers II
Ware County
Amber Corbitt and Emma Wilkinson
Wayne County
Khidhar Abdulkareem, Kayla Collins, Marshall FormyDuval, and Chelsi Thomas

Coastal Pines Technical College was established July 1, 2014, from the merger of Altamaha Technical College (ATC) and Okefenokee Technical College (OTC). Coastal Pines Technical College is a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia and an equal opportunity institution.


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Telephone numbers are accessible to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing through the Georgia Relay by dialing 711 or 1-800-255-0056 from a TTY/TDD.

Los números de teléfono son accesibles a las personas que son sordos o con pérdida de la audición a través de Georgia Relay marcando 711 o 1-800-255-0056 de TTY/TDD.


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