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Gadsden State commencement ceremony planned for May 9

The Spring Commencement for Gadsden State Community College will be at 6 p.m. May 9 in the Gadsden State Cherokee Arena.

Featured speakers will be Gadsden State students Dakota Heathcock, Eden Snyder and Ivy McCurley.

Heathcock is a Jacksonville resident who was homeschooled from the fourth grade to high school before earning his GED. At Gadsden State, he has been active in Student Support Services and was instrumental in establishing the SSS Leadership Academy at the Ayers Campus. He has a 4.0 GPA and is on the President’s List. A community volunteer, Heathcock has participated in five mission trips to a children’s home in Florida and two mission trips to Nicaragua, and he has helped raise non-perishable items and toiletries for the JSU tornado relief effort. He will graduate with an Associate in Science degree and will transfer to Jacksonville State University on a Presidential Transfer Scholarship. He plans to pursue a bachelor’s degree in elementary education.

Snyder is a graduate of Saks High School and currently resides in Anniston. While in high school, she was an ACE Institute student, Gadsden State’s dual enrollment program, and completed 32 credit hours of college classes. She also participated in the co-op program at the Anniston Army Depot. She then worked at a local car manufacturing plant for four years, where she noticed many employees suffered from injuries that resulted in surgery. She is completing the short-term certificate program in Massage Therapy in an effort to give people a different option to pain medications through therapeutic massage. Snyder has a 3.6 GPA and has been on the President’s List and Dean’s List. She is a volunteer at the local animal shelter and performs volunteer massages with her classmates.

Ivy McCurley of Gadsden enrolled at Gadsden State after earning her GED. She is graduating with an Associate in Science degree and will be transferring to JSU to complete her bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She has a cumulative GPA of 3.72 and has been on the President’s List and Dean’s List. She is the recipient of the Rubye and R.M. Walker Scholarship at Gadsden State and was recently awarded the Presidential Transfer Scholarship to JSU and the Transfer Pathway Scholarship to the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a parliamentarian of the Young Democrats of Etowah County, a chairwoman of the Women’s Caucus of Alabama Young Democrats and a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Graduates will be presented by Tim Smith, chief information officer, and Timothy W. Green, dean of Technical Education and Workforce Development.  Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State, will award the degrees. Deborah Reynolds will serve as the commencement grand marshal.