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The 2019 Practical Nursing graduates. Front, from left: Tesla Krajewski, Katie House, Alexandria Cross, Anita Leach, Linita Simmons, Tierra Little, Lindsey Nicholson and Karli Rucker. Middle, from left: Kenyatta Moody, Abby Tuter, Alex Tophinke, Kuira Hoenig, Jennifer Burnett, Erica Szombathy, Sarah Simpson and Kanishia Moody. Back, from left: Elizabeth MacLean, Linsey Lovelace, Christina Chambers, Tessa Schmidt, Christal Lewis, Cheryl Litton and Christina Scarborough.  

The 2019 Practical Nursing class from Pike-Lincoln Technical Center (PLTC) in Eolia held its 45th graduation ceremony at the Clopton High School gymnasium on Tuesday, June 25 at 6 p.m. Twenty-three students graduated from the program, one of the highest numbers of graduating students in a class in the school’s history. 

The last nursing class to graduate 23 students was in 2012, the year following the fire at Pike-Lincoln that destroyed part of the school. 

The welcome and introduction was given by Michelle Booth, Practical Nursing Coordinator. 

“I am extremely proud of our students. This accomplishment is something each student has worked very hard for in the last 11 months,” remarked Booth. Erica Szombathy, vice-president of the Pike-Lincoln Technical Center’s Student Nursing Organization, lead the ceremony with the Nurse’s Prayer.  The speaker for the evening was Lindsey Nicholson, president of the Student Nursing Organization. Certificates and flowers were presented by the Practical Nursing instructors Jessica Reinhardt, Nikki Stroud and Jasmyn Williams. Pinning of graduates was done by Michelle Booth, Practical Nursing coordinator. 

Ally Cross led the nurses in reciting of the Nurses Pledge as an affirmation of their commitment to nursing. 

During the graduation exercises, several students were presented with awards and honors. The following is a list of those awards and honors:

Tessa Schmidt received the Community Service Award sponsored by Pike County Health Department. 

Alex Tophinke was the recipient of the Hospice Care Award sponsored by Pike County Hospice. 

These awards were presented by Rhonda Stumbaugh, Pike County Home Health and Hospice administrator.

Alex Tophinke was also the recipient of a second Hospice Care Award presented by Community Loving Care Hospice Social Worker Donna Ellison.

Lindsey Nicholson, the class president, received the Leadership Award. Outstanding Attendance Award recipients were Linsey Lovelace, Tesla Krajewski, Sarah Simpson and Kuira Hoenig.

Tierra Little, Kenyatta Moody, Christina Scarborough, Kuira Hoenig, Erica Szombathy, Christina Chambers and Kanishia Moody were honored with Outstanding Student Awards. 

These awards were sponsored by Mercy Hospital Lincoln Nursing Staff and presented by Becky O’Neal, manager of Surgical Services at Mercy Hospital Lincoln.

Clinical Excellence Award recipients were as follows: Tessa Schmidt, Katie House, Karli Rucker, Linita Simmons, Elizabeth MacLean, Jennifer Burnett and Tesla Krajewski. 

Tesla Krajewski was honored with the salutatorian award that was presented by Dolly Giles, chief nursing officer at Pike County Memorial Hospital.  

Lindsey Nicholson was honored with the valedictorian award sponsored by SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Audrain in Mexico.

Following the presentation of certificates and awards, Martin Hanley, the Director of Pike-Lincoln Technical Center, gave the closing remarks. 

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