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Perdue speaks at OTC spring commencement
051508 OTC GRAD 1
Governor Sonny Perdue delivers Thursday's commencement address to Ogeechee Technical College graduation candidates Thursday at Hanner Fieldhouse.
    Parents, spouses and children were poised to scream for their favorite Ogeechee Technical College graduate, as students lined up for OTC’s spring commencement. Held at Georgia Southern University’s Hanner Fieldhouse, more than 250 students donned black gowns and tasseled caps to celebrate the completion of their certificate of degree.
    OTC President Dawn Cartee was excited for the students as she waited for the ceremony to begin.
    “This is what it’s all about. Everything we do on a daily basis – is about what we’re experiencing tonight and what the students are experiencing tonight,” said Cartee. “When you see them walk across the stage and you hear their families yelling for them in the background – it’s an exciting time as an educator and I would imagine the faculty and staff are feeling the same.”
    Governor Sonny Perdue delivered the commencement address, which focused on continuous lifelong education. He encouraged students to follow the words of author Thomas Friedman and get really good at “learning how to learn.”
    “The stakes are getting higher and the bar is being raised every day. We should continue to seek out new ways to do old things and even new ways to do new things. We need to be constantly stretching ourselves – looking for problems to overcome,” said Purdue. “We must either keep learning or we will be left behind. Education is our competitive edge – and lifelong education is what can set us apart and set us ahead,”
    A threesome of excited dental assistants — Rhiannon DeLoach, Toni Goldwire and Heather Raby — waited together in line as the graduates prepared to enter the arena. DeLoach plans to continue her education and pursue a dental hygienist degree in Vidalia while Goldwire plans to do the same in Kennesaw. Meanwhile, Raby is content — for now — to continue working for Dr. Hagan in Sylvania, where Goldwire also works.
    “I think that it’s for me right now,” said Raby. “I’m just going to work for a while.”
    Anthony Wayne Franklin and Stanley Harn were receiving their computer support specialist certificates. Both Franklin, 53, and Harn, 62, were unable to physically continue in their previous professions and decided to pursue additional training.
    “I’m hoping to get a job but I’m excited to be graduating,” said Franklin.
    “I had to start a new career and I’ve always liked computers, so here I am,” said Harn.
    Both were asked about taking classes with the younger generation.
    “I enjoy it,” they said in unison.
    Demario Kelley, a patient care assistant student, said he plans to continue at OTC.
    “It’s feels great, but I’m nervous too. I want to go back to school and be a radiologist,” said Kelley.
    Jessica and Calvin Sanders came to see their daughter-in-law Veronica Byrd, while Lonnie and Jeri Lyn Bradley were there for their daughter, Tiffany Cole Bradley. Both  received degrees in cosmetology.
    “We are very proud of her,” said the Sanders’.
    “Oh God, yes,” said the Bradleys when asked if they were proud of their daughter, but their words of advice were short and sweet.
    “Get a job,” they said laughing.
    Daniel & Rosa Brewton‘s daughter, Surrina Freeman, works as a bank manager and was receiving her accounting diploma.
    “We are proud — very proud,” said the Brewtons. “We want to tell her congratulations and that we love her very much.”

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