• DSCC nursing instructor Tammy Hines (left) presented the Clinical Practice Award to traditional nursing class graduate Joshua Taube (right) of Atoka during the College’s pinning ceremony Dec. 13.

Dyersburg State Community College honored its 68th  and 69th nursing classes with a ceremony for 37 graduates in the traditional nursing program and 17 graduates in the paramedic to RN fast track program Dec. 13. The ceremony took place inside the Brighton High School Gymnasium. A total of 1,860 nursing students have graduated from DSCC over the past 39 years.

Amy Johnson, dean of nursing, opened the ceremony with an introduction of faculty and staff. DSCC President Karen Bowyer acknowledged the graduates and congratulated them on their accomplishments. The ceremony proceeded with the recognition of 37 first-year nursing students by instructor Kim Dew.

Nursing instructor Trenna Richardson introduced class officers for the traditional class including president Lavion Sain of Memphis, vice president Cally Norris of Munford, secretary Kayla Byars of Atoka, treasurer Kayla Bryant of Brighton and historians Meagan Hardy of Newbern and Hannah Harrald of Ripley; and class officers for the paramedic to RN program including president Roger Shearin of Collierville, vice president Heidi Whitman of Lakeland, secretary Heather Swallow of Ripley, treasurer Andrew Hart of Cordova and historian Genevieve Busby of Collierville.


“It was a mere two years ago when we all met,” stated Lavion Sain. “Little did we know how much we would grow together, and now all of us are like family.”

Dr. Jan Reid-Bunch, vice president for the college, presented the Friend of Nursing Award, on behalf of the traditional nursing class, to Carl Hicks of Dyersburg, custodian at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County, and on behalf of the paramedic to RN class to Becky Willis of Ripley, lead custodian at the DSCC Jimmy Naifeh Center at Tipton County.

The Scholastic Awards, presented to the students with the highest grade-point average , was awarded to traditional nursing class graduates Audra Matthews of Burlison, graduating with a 3.46 GPA and Joshua Taube of Atoka, graduating with a 3.49. Paramedic to RN class graduates receiving Scholastic Awards include Roger Shearin, graduating with a 3.89 GPA, and Heidi Whitman, graduating with a 3.91 GPA.

The Clinical Practice Award, selected by members of the nursing faculty, was presented to traditional nursing class graduate Josh Taube and paramedic to RN nursing class graduate Will Camarillo of Memphis. This award is given to nursing graduates who demonstrate qualities such as the practice of nursing as a humanistic art and science, the recognition of each person as a unique individual and acceptance of legal and ethical professional accountability.

The Peggy Pendergrast Award was presented to traditional nursing class graduate Audra Matthews and paramedic to RN class graduate Frank Miller of Decaturville. This special award, given in honor of Peggy Pendergrast, the founding director of the DSCC nursing program, is presented to a student demonstrating the qualities that are essential for effective nursing practice.

Traditional nursing graduate Ava Hunt of Arlington presented the Friendship Award, chosen by class members, to fellow classmate Jamie Shoemaker of Brighton. Paramedic to RN nursing graduate Roger Shearin presented the award to fellow classmate Spenser Rich of Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Amy Johnson, DSCC dean of nursing, presented class pins to the graduates. Following tradition, each nursing graduate received a ceramic replica of the lamp carried by Florence Nightingale, a pioneer in the nursing profession. Nursing graduates lit the lamps and recited the Nightingale Pledge.

Local graduates of DSCC’s December 2019 traditional nursing class include:

Atoka – Kayla Byars, Josh Taube, Heather Warhurst

Brighton – Kayla Bryant, Makenzie Paige Edrington, Jamie Shoemaker, Nikki Taylor

Burlison – Audra Matthews

Covington – Nicole Armstrong, Ashley Winberry

Munford – Lindsie Cooper, Scarlet Khattar, Cally Norris

Stanton – Danielle Scott

Local graduates of DSCC’s December 2019 paramedic to RN fast track class include:

Atoka – Justin Sutton

Covington – Zachary Pinner

Echo Day
Author: Echo Day

Echo Day is an award-winning journalist, photographer and designer. She is currently The Leader's managing editor.