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Halifax Community College (HCC) employees were honored during the Distinguished Service Awards Ceremony, Apr. 19 at The Centre. Teacher of the Year, Part-Time Teacher of the Year, Innovator Award, Spirit Award, and the President's Leadership Award were presented.

Dr. Phillip Taylor, the first president of HCC spoke during the event. He reflected on the beginnings of the college and noted that, at the time, no one knew what the technical institute was supposed to do. “It was a new kid on the block,” said Taylor.

President of HCC, Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr., focused on the future of the college. “Though we might have different times and challenges, we still strive to be the catalyst for educational, cultural, and economic development in the Roanoke Valley by anticipating and responding to our communities' needs.” He added, “This is one of the occasions I have been looking forward to because we salute our colleagues by recognizing their time, talents, and tenacity in helping to carry out the past and future mission and vision for Halifax Community College.”

This year's Teacher of the Year Award went to Science Instructor Dr. Julie Galvin. The Part-Time Teacher of the Year honoree was Human Services and Psychology Instructor Rebecca Ferrell. Teacher of the Year and Part-Time Teacher of the Year selections are based on consistent, excellent job behaviors that exhibit unselfish devotion and significant contributions to student success, student interactions and successful experiences and outcomes, classroom success and effective learning results, innovations in teaching, leadership roles beyond the classroom, professional development activities and experiences that enhance teaching effectiveness, and past recognition and awards received as a faculty member.

The Innovator Award went to Office Systems Technology Instructor Tamikah Brown. It is presented to the HCC employee who has implemented a fresh or new idea that addresses the mission of the college. Selection criteria includes innovation that supports the college's mission, impact of the innovation, cost effectiveness, sustainability, applications, and creativity.

The President's Leadership Award is presented to an employee who has demonstrated outstanding leadership in support of HCC's mission. The awards committee selects the recipient based on leadership traits, setting the example for others to follow, personal commitment and extraordinary dedication to the college mission, achievement and demonstrated accomplishments, and self-improvement. The recipients included JobLink Satellite Manager John Foriest, Dean of Continuing Education & Community Services Vera Palmer, and Financial Aid Coordinator Tara Keeter.

The Spirit Award went to Director of Distance Learning Beth Gray-Robertson. It is presented to the HCC employee who exemplifies cooperation and enthusiasm and serves as a positive reflection of the college's mission. Selection is based on demonstrating a strong commitment to the community through activities that positively impact the region, participating in college activities, facilitating positive collaboration within the college, exhibiting a proactive attitude, motivating co-workers and students to excel, service as a spokesperson and advocate for the college, demonstrating a strong commitment to the college, and contributing to the effectiveness of the college to carry out its mission.

Service awards were given to full-time employees who have reached certain anniversaries of service. Those with five years of service were Joyce Barnes, Kysha Gary, Patricia Gonshor, Kenneth Jones, Tara Keeter, Robert Lee, Phillip Massey, Shawn Rudd, Sandra Saunders-Smith, and Jerry Thompson.

Those with 10 years of service were Ada Harriss, Ricky Nowell, Tyrone Parker, Leatrice Patillo, and Cynthia Walker. Lateef Balogun, Melinda Cox, Doris Garner, James Harrell, James Pair, Tammy Pleasant, and Therman Taylor were recognized for 15 years of service.

John Foriest and Virginia Griffin were recognized for 20 years of service. Thirty years of service employees were Jean McGee, Terry Wheeler and Karen Wright.

Retirement honorees were also recognized. These included Mary Hatchell, Emily Holmes, Pam Poythress, Ruby Vincent Ward, and Karen Wright.

Dr. Phillip Taylor Dr. Ervin V. Griffin, Sr
Tamikah Brown: Innovator Award Beth Gray-Robertson: Spirit Award
Rebecca Ferrell: Part-Time Teacher of the Year Tara Keeter: President's Leadership Award
Five-year awards: Joyce Barnes, Patricia Gonshor, Tara Keeter, Robert Lee, Sandra Saunders-Smith Ten-year awards: Ada Harriss, Cynthia Walker
Fifteen years: Lateef Balogun, Melinda Cox, James Pair Thirty years: Terry Wheeler, Karen Wright
Retirees: Mary Hatchell, Emily Holmes, Pam Poythress, Karen Wright Clockwise from top: John Foriest (President's
Leadership), Dr. Julie Galvin (Teacher of the
Year), Beth Gray-Robertson (Spirit), Vera Palmer (President's Leadership Award)