Baseball Signee

SIGNS WITH CIU - Recent Saluda High School graduate Cade Gentry, center,  signed to play baseball with Columbia International University on Wed., June 24, at the school. Cade is pictured with his family. (SHS photo)


Tech Spring Graduates Count

Blessings Amid Interrupted Plans

  This spring, new Piedmont Technical College (PTC) graduate Elena Worthing Morse made a time-honored processional, draped not in black graduation gown with honor cords but in a flowing, full-length white dress that represents a milestone of comparable weight.
  “I ended up getting married two days after the May 7 graduation date that would have been,” Morse said. The fact that an in-person graduation had been postponed indefinitely only seemed to inject more energy into her pending nuptials to Jason Morse, a case manager at McCravy Law Firm.
  Morse, 21, graduated in May with an associate in applied science degree, majoring in human services. While at PTC, she was a Presidential Ambassador, the recipient of the Human Services Department’s Outstanding Student Award and a member of the Phi Theta Kappa 2020 All-State Academic Team. Morse already has a full-time job with Pathway House, a Christian organization that provides assistance to homeless men, women and children. Some of the best advice she learned at PTC is the value of making connections with businesspeople.
  “While I was at a Chamber of Commerce breakfast to recognize scholarship recipients, I met Anthony Price, the director of Pathway House. That led to him offering me an internship, and that ended up becoming a full-time job,” she explained. “I would have missed the opportunity if I weren’t looking for connections.”
  Life is good for the newlywed couple, who will make their home in Greenwood. Of her choice of college, Morse couldn’t be happier.
  “I love this school,” she said. “You are surrounded by people who just want to learn. They are here not because they have to be but because they want to be.”
  Christy Irons had plenty of distractions to keep her mind off of the “graduation situation.” Actually, you might say she had 10 distractions †her adopted children ranging in age from 8 to 21.
  “I have been raising children for a long time,” she said. “My oldest went to Aiken Tech. I have another son who just graduated from high school and will be studying welding at PTC, hopefully in the fall.”
  The Cross Hill resident, who received her associate degree in nursing this spring and works at The Children’s Center and Wesley Commons, said she stayed home taking care of children for 15 years. Attending PTC has been a pleasant surprise.
  “I am an older person, and it was nice to see some other older people on campus,” Irons said. “I liked all of the instructors, had a really good experience and made lots of friends.”
  The lack of an in-person graduation this spring has not fazed Irons one bit.
  “I think it’s just one of those things. We are adults now, and we have to roll with the punches,” she said. “It’s not anything anyone had control over.”
  Katie DiBari, who graduated this spring with an associate of applied science majoring in early care and education, said that engaging relationships with instructors are among the many things PTC does right. “They make education accessible to all people,” the Greenwood resident said. “I had an amazing experience at Piedmont Tech. My classes were hands-on, focused and even fun! I felt like I was where I was supposed to be.”
  Transferring to PTC, she noted, has been an agreeable change of pace.
  “I went to two different four-year universities before transferring to PTC, and I was honestly skeptical of how good a technical college’s education could be,” she said. “But I learned so much through classes, projects and student teaching opportunities. Piedmont has impressed me, and I’m so glad I can call myself a graduate of the Early Care and Education Program.”
   A full list of PTC spring semester graduates – by county:
  JOHNSTON – Megan Grace Gilliland, associate in applied science, major in business administration, management concentration.
  LEESVILLE – Zachary Drayton Hall, associate in applied science, major in diversified agriculture.
  SALUDA – Evon Rose Brooks, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Pearlnia Myrlaya Davenport, associate in applied science, major in human services; Caleb Fincannon, associate in applied science, major in mechanical engineering technology; Breanna I. Herbert, associate in applied science, major in nursing; Devin Luther Hipp, associate in applied science, major in electronic engineering technology / associate in applied science, major in engineering design technology; Natallia Lott, associate in science; and Ana Salazar-Juan, associate in applied science, major in criminal justice.
  TROY – Greyham H. Rushton, associate in applied science, major in mechatronics technology.