RCC President Dr. Sharon Morrissey welcomed the audience and thanked them for all the support they have given students so they could reach this goal.
Basic Skills Director Sherry Byrd presented a tribute to Basic Skills Recruiter Ann Munn who died during the past semester. She worked with the program for over 14 years. Many of the graduates were there because of her encouraging words.
Michael Parker, District Attorney for Prosecutorial District 20A, was the keynote speaker.
Parker asked the graduates “What is the value of this diploma?”
He talked about growing up on a farm in Vass and about a smart man named Dink who worked for his father. Dink was one of the best meat cutters around, taught Parker about cutting and baling hay, and earned a living that allowed him to care for his family. Parker was stunned when he learned Dink could not read or write and made an “X” for his name.
He told the graduates that the days of earning a living with just good skills are gone and high school or GED diplomas represent the minimum requirements for jobs in today’s world.
Citing his wife’s favorite movie, “The Wizard of Oz,” he talked about the scarecrow’s desire to have a brain. The wizard told him he had it all along and only needed a testimonial to validate it.
“Does this piece of paper make you smarter? Does it make people respect you? You have earned the paper, but its real value is based upon what you do with it. What value will you give this thing you have worked to get? Take and use it to better yourself, your families, your communities, and the world. Make the part of the world you touch better than you found it. Give your diploma the value it deserves,” he concluded.
A number of graduates earned awards and scholarships for high scores.
First Bank representative Mark Ward presented a cash award to Adult High School graduate Candase Davis-McLaurin of Laurinburg for achieving the highest score during the 2009 school year.
Laurinburg Rotary Club representative Neil Carter presented a scholarship for one semester to Gary Anthony Woodside of Laurinburg who earned the GED Diploma with commendation and will attend RCC this fall.
Knights of Columbus representative Robert Salemme presented a cash award to Casey Alexandra Haywood and Gary Anthony Woodside of Laurinburg who scored commendation on the GED Exam.
Rockingham Rotary Club representative Bill Council presented a scholarship to RCC to Katie L. Colvelle of Hamlet who earned the GED Diploma and will be attending RCC this fall.
RCC President Dr. Sharon Morrissey presented N.C. State Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin cash awards to Charles McKeithan of Laurinburg and Dakota Braddock of Hamlet who scored the highest on the GED exam.
RCC Vice President for Continuing Education J. Richard Garrett, II presented the Basic Skills Race for Literacy Scholarship to Candase Davis-McLaurin of Laurinburg and Janet L. Hewett of Rockingham who completed her Adult High School Diploma and will attend RCC this fall.
Daphne Stancil presented the Emma M. Stancil & Captain Walter R. Stancil, Jr. Memorial Scholarship to Felicia Dockery of Rockingham who completed her high school education with commendation and will be RCC this fall.
RCC Vice President for Continuing Education J. Richard Garret, II presented the Barbara S. Conder Basic Skills scholarship to Israel B. Braddock of Hamlet who completed his high school education with high commendation and will be attending RCC this fall.
Rockingham Civitan Club representative J.C. Lamm presented a scholarship to Erica R. Hunt of Hamlet who completed her high school education with commendation and will be attending RCC this fall.
RCC Board of Trustee Chairman Hugh Lee presented the RCC Trustees Basic Skills Scholarship to Dakota Braddock of Hamlet who completed her high school education with superior commendation and will be attending RCC this fall.
The diplomas were presented by Vice President for Continuing Education J. Richard Garrett, II, RCC President Dr. Sharon Morrissey, and RCC Board of Trustee Chairman Hugh Lee. Richmond County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Jeff Maples and Scotland County Schools Assistant Superintendent Dr. Rick Watkins assisted in presenting the Adult High School Diplomas. Dr. Morrissey conferred the degrees.
William Aaron Brand and Jefferson Collins Strickland of Hamlet earned their Adult High School Diplomas. Chelsi Bea Frazer, Sarah Hall, Kenneth Mullis, and Jessica L. Warner of Rockingham also earned AHS Diplomas.
Students earning their General Educational Development Diplomas are:
Cordova: Cameron Bowman and Candance Bulter.
Ellerbe: Susan Bowers and Jessica Walker.
Hamlet: Jashawn Baker, Casey Braddock, Dakota Braddock, Israel B. Braddock, Breanna Daniell Carter, Ricky Antwan Collins, Katie Colville, Erica R. Hunt, Charles A. Jacobs, Amber Elizabeth Jordan, Charity Grace Jordan, William Douglas Kaurin II, Jessica Ann Kirven, Morgan Knight, Marissa Newkirk, Bryana Nicole Oliver, Dennis R. Rape Jr., Krystle Shaw, Steven K. Thompson, Misty Vance and Tamasia Zuniga.
Norman: Jeremy A. Gallimore.
Rockingham: Keanu Alexander, Kandi R. Baucom, Cassie W. Bowman, Donald Braddock, Brooke N. Brigman, Misty Brigman, Andrew Brown, Brittany Nicole Brown, Connie Brown, Dawn Cluff, Brian Dixon, Felicia Dockery, Janet Hewett, Nora Holmes, Steven l. Inman, Michelle L. King, Joey Miller, Donna Kaye Morton, Cayce Leigh Parker, Katherine Perez, Brandon L. Reynolds, Alysha Richardson, Chrystal Rose, Antwuan D. Rush, Lisa H. Smith, Patrick Monroe Snead Jr. and Ebony Watkins.