Jones College PBL students head to national competition

ELLISVILLE- Fourteen of the fifteen Jones College students that competed in the Phi Beta Lambda business honor society’s State competition in Columbus, Mississippi, came home, winners. They either placed first or second in their competitive events, qualifying them for the national competition in June, in San Antonio, Texas.

During the three-day conference, each student competed in two, business-related events. The events ranged from accounting principles and entrepreneurship concepts, to computer programming and network design.

“Thirteen of the students will be going to the four-day national conference and competition in San Antonio,” said Jones College’s PBL Advisor, David Ray.  “We’re looking forward to a strong showing at nationals this summer. This group has a lot of potential to place nationally.”

Tara Williamson of Mendenhall earned first place honors in both the Computer Applications and the Hospitality Management competitions. Colby Dorsey of Woodville earned first place honors in Computer Concepts. Ellisville’s Dylan Meeks earned first place in Sports Management & Marketing, and second place in the Contemporary Sports Issues category.  The team of Colby Dorsey, Trent Norris of Seminary and Grant Valverde of Enterprise earned second place in the Network Design team competition.  The team consisting of Owen Cote of Sumrall, Daniel Easley of Laurel, and Tyler Rouse of Lucedale took home first place in the Management Analysis & Decision Making team category and second place in the Financial Analysis & Decision Making team competition. Sumrall’s Kaleb Ashmore earned first place honors in the Programming Concepts competition and second place in the Computer Applications category.

 Columbia’s Alyssa Pearce took home second place in the Job Interview category and third place in the Marketing Analysis & Decision Making competition. Zachory Busby of Soso landed in second place in the Help Desk competition and third place in the Information Management category. Hattiesburg’s Stephen Grantham received second place for his efforts in the Programming Concepts competition. Finishing in third place were Trent Norris in the Help Desk competition and Melissa Hankins of Laurel in the Accounting competition. However, Hankins took top honors in the Entrepreneurship Concepts competition. Ellisville’s Emily Youngblood earned second place in the Macroeconomics competition and Byron Pittman of Ellisville earned fourth place in the Information Management category.

Top of Class Honored At Jones College

ELLISVILLE- Valedictorians and Salutatorians from 45 schools participated in this year’s celebration of the “Top of Class.” Jones College and WDAM-TV host the annual Top of Class recognition program.

WDAM-TV news personalities Nick Lilja and Quametra Wilborn awarded the area’s valedictorians and salutatorians with a certificate of achievement. The group of 100 high school students was honored with a day of entertainment, speakers and breakfast.

The WDAM-TV production crew videotaped the event to be featured during WDAM-Sunrise at 5:58 a.m., beginning May 6, through June 14, and on the WDAM-TV web page. WDAM-TV and Jones College are sponsors of this event to honor the academic achievements of the Pine Belt’s top students.

Jones College sophomores earn Gold Key Awards

ELLISVILLE– During graduation practice, six Jones College sophomores were awarded Leadership, Athletic and Merit Gold Key Awards. These students were voted on by their peers for this special recognition.

The Merit Gold Key recipients are Emily Youngblood of Ellisville and Jared Woullard of Greene County. Woullard was also chosen by his peers to receive the Leadership Gold Key honor. Anna Catherine Hampton of Petal was also selected for the Leadership Gold Key award.

Softball player, Gracie McCleskey of Caledonia, and basketball player from Rayville, Louisiana, Ray Williams Jr., both earned the Athletic Gold Key Award.

Jones College sophomores eligible to receive the Academic Gold Key honor because of their 4.0 GPA prior to final exams will be recognized over the summer for their academic achievements.

Jones College employees celebrate retirees

ELLISVILLE – Jones College held its annual “Retirement Tea” for eleven employees retiring in May.  When combined, these employees provided 193 years of service to JC, with some having additional years of service working at other educational institutions.

The 2019 retirees include Betty, or “B.J.” Meche. She worked in various roles at the campus bookstore for the last 35 years. For the last 19 years, Rick Bedwell has taught business courses and has served as the division chair of the department.  Angela Cooley finishes 25 years of teaching math at Jones. Dianne Johnson has been teaching business office technology for the last 21 years. Two employees, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Mark Easley and former coach, and practical nursing secretary, Pat McMichael have served JC for 20 years each. Gloria Newell has served as the assistant culinary arts instructor for the past 16 years. The Financial Aid Office is saying its farewells to Mary Kuhn after working 13 years in that department. Nine years ago, Mickey Ciullo began working in the campus bookstore while Gerald Griffin has completed seven years in the transportation department. English instructor, Rhonda Farrior is retiring after teaching for six years at JC.

Jones College employees honored for service

ELLISVILLE – Sixty Jones College faculty and staff members were recently honored for their years of service to the college. Administrators and the JC Foundation treated everyone to lunch and an afternoon of basketball. JC administrators honored employees for their service at five-year increments, beginning with those who have served at least five years.

Serving the most years at the end of 2018 was Bonnie Warren, with 40 years. She has served in various roles in Student Affairs and is currently the Director of Enrollment Operations. The JC alumna said, “I have had a great 40-years here at Jones, and I hope to be here for many more. I have worked with a variety of people in many different departments who have all helped to inspire me to be a hard worker and a better person. Jones is a wonderful place to work and I have made many friendships over the years. I think you should always strive to make a difference in your work and continue to improve the qualities that make Jones great.”

Former JC Athletic Director, Katie Herrington, celebrated 30-years with Jones. Herrington has been a part of the athletic department in various roles. She has served as the Region XXIII Women’s Director and in other roles, for more than 25 years. At Jones, Herrington served as the head basketball coach of the Lady Bobcats for 11 years and she has taught health and P.E. classes for the past 19 years. The Smith County native retired from being Athletic Director after 12 years, but she continues to serve as Division Chair of the Health, Physical Education and Recreation department.

“For over 30 years I have been blessed to have a job whether it be coaching, teaching, or athletic director, and I have enjoyed them all. We always talk about being a part of the ‘Jones’ family and I believe that is true. I think we are blessed to work at a place where people care about one another. I hope over my tenure, I have had some positive influence over the students and the employees that I have worked with.”

Serving the college for 25 years, are Angela Cooley-math instructor; Patricia Brownlee-childcare teacher & women’s housing; Stacy Ruth-sociology instructor. 

Eight JC employees were recognized for their 20 years of service: Michael Boyd-guitar/music instructor; Rick Bedwell-business division chair; Rick Hamilton-VP of enrollment management; Marilyn Long-campus operations/duplicating; Corey Jones-math division chair; Kenneth Cummings-A.D. nursing instructor; Diasetta Nelson-housekeeping and Pamela Brownlee-WIOA Win Job Center.

Celebrating 15 years of employment at JC were Stan Lewis-electrical technology instructor; Gloria Newell-culinary arts instructor; Karen Purvis-student affairs; Lee Graham-JC Foundation; Latasha Peters-financial aid; Matthew Burnham-science instructor; Kevin Kuhn-bookstore; Shannon Wilks-workforce college; Kathryn Davis-social science instructor; Amanda McLeod-Asst. VP of enrollment management; Lauren Bell-A.D. nursing instructor; Joel Cain-Athletic Director; Missie Meeks-English instructor; Jessica Bunch-math instructor; Terry White-math instructor; Anna Brashier-nutrition instructor; Joanna Cooley-speech instructor and David Clark-workforce college.

Twelve JC employees were recognized for their 10 years of service including Gabe Mercier-I.T.; Caleb Smith-workforce college; Crystal Nail-external funding-grants; Lisa Purdum-marketing; Jody Buchanan-Clarke County Center director; Jennifer Wood-financial aid; Amy Myers-practical nursing; Fawn Shoemake-instructional affairs; Sabrina Smith-enrollment management; Cynthia May-practical nursing; Rochelle Dahmer-English instructor and Ricky Gaddy-maintenance.

After five years of employment at Jones, these sixteen employees were honored for their service: Joshua Oubre-culinary arts; Jimmie Freeman-maintenance; Ashley Adams-groundskeeper; Greg Griffith-electro-mechanical technology instructor; Christina Nixon-childcare; Lakin Craft-one card services; Ryan Hearn-civil engineering instructor; Mark Walters-biology instructor; Tim Morris-speech instructor; Chase Elmore-precision machining and manufacturing instructor; Rhonda Farrior-English instructor; Tommy Freeman-maintenance; Herbert Windham-housekeeping; Susie Polk-housekeeping; Darren McCraw-campus police and Bobby Dykes-groundskeeper.

Each honored employee was given a special item designed for each level of achievement: 5 years-small plaque; 10 years-large plaque; 15 years-clock; 20 years-small acrylic trophy; 25 years-medium acrylic trophy; 30 years-large acrylic trophy and an extra-large plaque for 40 years.

 (Pictures by Megan Clark, JC Digital Media Coordinator)