Ashland Community and Technical College recognized a record number of 710 students at the Commencement Ceremony held May 6 in the Paramount Arts Center. The students were August 2015 and December 2015 graduates and May 2016 and Summer 2016 graduation candidates.
Dr. Kay Akins, ACTC President and CEO, welcomed the audience and congratulated the graduates on their accomplishments. This evening you join a special group of individuals who have used the college as a stepping stone to their dreams, she said. At the conclusion of the ceremony you will become an alumnus of a college that has stood the test of time.
Stephen E. Gilmore, the retiring Superintendent of the Ashland Independent School District, was the keynote speaker. He has been with the Ashland School District for 39 years and Superintendent since 2008. Under his leadership, the District undertook several major building projects and initiatives to provide dual-credit and Early College classes for Paul G. Blazer students. He also served four terms on the Ashland City Commission and was Ashlands mayor from 2002 to 2008.
The student speakers were graduating twins Kathryn E. Barber and Susan M. Barber. Both are Deans List students who are graduating with High Distinction. Kathryn earned an Associate in Arts Degree and Susan earned an Associate in Science Degree. Both are transferring to the University of Kentucky to major in Mechanical Engineering.
KCTCS 2016 All-Academic Team awards were presented to Kathryn Barber and Sri R. Lewis, a December graduate who earned an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Business Administration. Lewis is currently working on a Bachelors Degree in Applied Management at Ohio University-Southern. The annual All-Academic Team awards are presented to two students from each KCTCS college based on scholarship, community service, activities and honors.
Grace Browning, the first graduate of the Early College program established by ACTC and Holy Family Collegiate High School in 2014, was recognized. She earned an Associate in Arts Degree and is transferring to Northern Kentucky University to major in nursing.
The Distinguished Service Award was presented to the Woodlands Foundation, Inc. in recognition of its support of the college. This support has included contributions to the building fund for the Guy amp; Lisa Spriggs Child Development Center and the recent BuildSmart campaign to modernize the original Main
Building at the College Drive Campus. The private, job-oriented foundation has supported economic development and community projects in the Ashland-area for 18 years.
The ninth annual Gussler Family Endowed Chair in Math amp; Science Award was presented to Mathematics Professor Cindy Shelton. An Ashland resident and ACTC alumna, she has taught at the college since 2000. The Award was established by Dr. G. Gordon and Dixie Gussler in 2007 to recognize exemplary science and math teachers who empower and motivate students to succeed beyond their expectations and experiences.
The ceremony was live streamed by The Greenup Beacon and can be viewed at