ASHEBORO (May 24, 2018)
Bill Cranford, a Randolph Community College graduate who is employed as a sales engineer for Phillips Commercial Haas Factory Outlet, gave the graduation address, and Francisco Arellano Cortes was the student speaker at RCC’s 2018 College and Career Readiness graduation held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 10, at the R. Alton Cox Learning Resources Center auditorium on the Asheboro Campus.
RCC graduate Francisco Arellano Cortes receives his high school equivalency diploma from Board Chair Mac Sherrill. Cortes spoke about his experience at RCC, starting out in the English as a Second Language program and taking classes at Goodwill Industries.
Cranford earned three associate degrees over a 10-year period at RCC, having to change directions when the job for which he was training was eliminated. Cranford said he was pursuing a management position at the company where he was working and had just finished Business Administration and Associate in Arts degrees at RCC when the job was cut. His wife mentioned the Computer-Integrated Machining program at RCC and the job opportunities in that area, so he re-enrolled and earned a third degree. After completing that degree, he got a job offer as a service engineer for Phillips and just recently moved into sales, which was a goal he had set for himself. Cranford, who spent four years in the Marine Corps and over nine years driving a milk truck, said he learned that outside forces many times get in the way of plans. “You have two ways to deal with it,” he said, “work hard and overcome the barrier, or make an excuse and go a different way.” He said he decided he didn’t want to make excuses.
Francisco Cortes, a native of Mexico, first became acquainted with RCC through English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes at RCC’s classroom at the Chevy Centre. He said he also always dreamed of completing his high school diploma. After about a year and a half of ESOL classes, he finally became ready to tackle his high school diploma. Cortes attended classes taught by RCC at Goodwill Industries on Dixie Drive, and after a year of classes, he passed the required exams and earned his high school equivalency diploma.
Fifteen students participated in the May 10 ceremony out of 24 High School Equivalency Diploma graduates and six Adult High School Diploma graduates who were eligible.
Dr. Robert Shackleford Jr., RCC president, gave the welcome. Elbert Lassiter, vice president for workforce development and continuing education, and Jordan Williamson, director of adult basic education, ESOL and adult high school, presented the candidates for graduation. The conferring of the diplomas was handled by F. Mac Sherrill, chairman of the RCC Board of Trustees.
Serving as faculty marshals were Melissa Woodell, lead instructor, and Jerry Barnes, Adult Basic Education instructor.
The graduates listed alphabetically by their cities of residence follow:
High School Equivalency Graduates
Apex: Seth McGaugh.
Archdale: Alexis Powell.
Asheboro: Tony Anthony, Derick Bullock, Francisco Arellano Cortes, Paola Escobedo, Mario Fields, Raquel Garcia, Nicole Hanna, Elvira Ponce Hernandez, Megan Morris, Faiza Qureshi, Julie Reitzel, Faith Uplinger-Sheehan, Caitlin Wicker.
Franklinville: Tyler Clonch.
Denton: John Beam.
Greensboro: Johnny Black.
Lexington: Brittany Metcalf.
Liberty: Saylor Cox.
Randleman: Jennifer Pickard, Jacob Stevens.
Troy: James Hinson.
Trinity: Timothy Hurley.
Adult High School Diploma Graduates
Archdale: Hanna Hansen.
Asheboro: Kelsey Grigg, Elizah Spears, Izaiah Spears.
Denton: Austin Bingham.
Sophia: Tiffany Felshaw.