Kathy Sanders (left) of Lake was recognized for 10 years of service during East Central Community College’s Administrative Assistants Appreciation Luncheon held Wednesday, April 24, 2013, on the Decatur campus. Sanders, who serves as administrative assistant to the College faculty, is shown receiving a certificate of appreciation from Dr. Teresa Houston, Vice President for Instruction. The annual event is held during Administrative Professionals Week and includes a luncheon with administrators and assistants in the McGee Gold Room of Mabry Memorial Cafeteria on the Decatur campus.
Former East Central Community College women’s basketball coach Sammy Pace (right) was inducted into the Mississippi Community College Sports Hall of Fame during the seventh annual ceremony held Tuesday, April 23, 2013, at the Muse Center on the Rankin County campus of Hinds Community College. ECCC President Dr. Billy Stewart is shown congratulating Coach Pace, who was among the 15 former community and junior college coaches and/or athletes selected for the prestigious honor. Pace led the Lady Warrior basketball program from 1985-2001, compiling a 279-157 overall mark. His 16-year career was highlight by an NJCAA Consolation Brackett Championship, two Region 23 crowns and several MACJC South Division Tournament titles. He is also a two-time recipient of NJCAA Region 23 and MACJC women’s basketball coach of the year honors. A Scott County native, Pace was a standout basketball player at Lake High School and continued his success on the hardwood at East Central Community College. He was also a successful coach on the high school level and guided his Scott Central girls’ team to the 1979 state championship. Pace also coached teams at Hickory, Sebastopol and Sumrall, compiling an overall 134-47 record.
East Central Community College’s baseball doubleheader scheduled Saturday, April 27 with Hinds Community College has been moved to Friday, April 26, due to inclement weather expected Saturday, announced Diamond Warrior head coach Neal Holliman.
Doubleheader action for the regular season finale begins at 4 p.m. Friday at the Clark/Gay Baseball Complex in Decatur. Sophomore players will be honored during pre-game activities beginning at approximately 3:40 p.m.
The playoff-bound Diamond Warriors currently second in the MACJC South Division with a 15-7 record. EC is 24-19 overall. The Eagles are 18-23 overall and 8-14 in league play.
First-round competition for the state playoffs is scheduled May 3-4, 2013. The top two teams in the MACJC South and North divisions will serve as host for a best-of-three series, which includes the top four teams in each division.
The MACJC State Baseball Tournament will be held May 9-11. The highest South Division seed following the best-of-three series will serve as tournament host.
For more information, contact Coach Holliman, 601-635-6374 or call toll free, 877-462-3222, ext. 374.
Members of the East Central Community College show choir, The Ac’cents, will present their fall campus concert at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 2, in Vickers Fine Arts Center Auditorium on the Decatur campus. There is no charge for admission and the public is invited to attend. This year’s music includes “Some Nights” by f.u.n., “Boogie Shoes” by KC and the Sunshine Band, “God Gave Me You” made popular by Blake Shelton, “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Diana Ross and Lady Gaga’s “Edge of Glory.” Performers and their respective hometowns include (from left) Chandler Smith, Philadelphia; Krissy Winstead, Union; Tyler Gilmore, Sebastopol; Jayohonnie Slaughter, Union; Sam Lovorn, Philadelphia; Claire Griffin and Jeremy Carson, both of Decatur; Taylor Gressett, Chunky; Turner Stevens, Carthage; Kara Miller, Decatur; Ryan Godwin, Newton; and Alex Weir, Philadelphia. Not pictured are sound technicians Jacob King of Sebastopol and Matthew Graham of Lake. The Ac’cents perform throughout the ECCC district, which includes Leake, Neshoba, Newton, Scott and Winston counties, at various community evens and concerts. For more information contact director Vicki Blaylock at 601-635-6225 or e-mail email@example.com.
Following a 10-year career as a science instructor at East Central Community College in Decatur and 35 total years in education, William Miles (Billy) has announced his retirement at the conclusion of the 2013 spring semester.
“I have mixed feelings about retirement,” he said. “I love to work and it’s great to work at East Central Community College. The staff, faculty and administration form a relatively small group. Almost everyone knows everyone else, if not by name, at least by sight. It’s like a big extended family. Everyone is very professional and does their job well. It’s been a pleasure to work here and has been the highlight of my career.”
Miles began his career at Mendenhall High School in 1977, where he taught high school chemistry, physics and general science. He also had stints at Brandon Academy and West Point High School before spending 10 years as a biology, chemistry, advanced chemistry and physics instructor at Morton High School. His experience also includes two years teaching environmental chemistry online for American Military University.
He retired in 2007 after 20.5 years in the Mississippi National Guard.
At East Central, Miles teaches Physics and Physical Science and last summer taught a class in Astronomy. He also serves as sponsor for the East Central Community College Astronomy Club.
“I love science. NASA, space exploration, and the race to the Moon captured our imaginations when I was in elementary and junior high school. A lot of us grew up wanting to be astronauts, astronomers and engineers instead of firemen, soldiers and cowboys. This love of science is what led me to become a science teacher,” Miles said.
He said he has enjoyed teaching and helping students with research projects for science competitions as a Junior Academy of Science sponsor and helping with “Star Parties” for the East Central Astronomy Club. He added, “The science lab is like a playground for me.”
Miles said he has enjoyed working with outstanding ECCC students and had much praise for them.
“Our area continues, year after year, to produce great students who will be successful, who can compete anywhere and who will maintain and improve our country, our state and our community,” Miles said. “I do not like to hear anyone speak badly about our young people. Those who do so are simply mistaken.”
Miles said he has been influenced over the years by a host of great teachers, community and church leaders, friends, his parents, sisters, and others.
“My colleagues in the Science Department and in the Math and Computer Science Department have been especially important and have been good friends and a great help to me here at East Central. They’ve all served as good role models I’ve tried to emulate.”
Among honors he has received are the Mississippi Academy of Sciences Secondary Teaching Award (2001), Sigma XI Scientific Research Society Secondary Teaching Award (1996), Mississippi Economic Council STAR Teacher (1991, 1997), SCI-MAT Fellow, Council for Basic Education (1999), Howard Hughes Medical Institute Fellow (1995,1997), Morton Chamber of Commerce Award for Excellence in Teaching (1997,1999) and ECCC Lamplighter (2006), which honors outstanding community and junior college faculty members.
After retirement, Miles said he plans to spend more time on family matters, complete some more coursework in physics and pursue other interests.
“Sailing is a passion. I’d like to become a better sailor and I plan to spend a lot of time on the water,” he said.
Miles resides near Morton and has two daughters, Katie Miles who also lives near Morton, and Diana Miles who is deceased.
He will be honored with other retirees at the end-of the-year faculty luncheon scheduled May 9 on the Decatur campus.
A 29-year career in education will come to a close for East Central Community College chemistry instructor Peggy Clayton when she retires following the 2013 spring term.
“It is hard to believe how many years have passed since I began teaching. Time does fly when you are having fun!” she said.
When asked of her retirement plans, Clayton said, “I plan to garden with my husband, spend time with family, read and maybe remember how to sew, and relax without a stack of papers on the table waiting to be graded!
At East Central, Clayton teaches general chemistry, organic chemistry and the labs that go along with those courses.
Prior to her position at the College, Clayton served 20 years on the high school level where she taught chemistry, advanced placement chemistry and physics. She also served eight years as an adjunct instructor at Meridian Community College.
Clayton said a long-time love for science and a husband who worked in education made the decision to teach an easy one.
“Since I was in high school, I have always enjoyed science and was constantly explaining what I knew to some other student,” Clayton said. “Years later, when I married my husband (Tom Clayton), who was then a teacher, teaching seemed the natural thing to do. I added the education courses to my chemistry degree and began to teach chemistry and physical science in high school.”
She said the highlights of her career have always been the successes of her students.
“There were those who found success in something as simple as learning to draw a graph or getting up in class to tell about their experiment. I’ve also had contest winners, science fair participants and scholarship winners. Many were at the top of their classes, some near the bottom, but all came somewhat closer to that knowledge of how the natural world works because of the experiences we shared in science classes,” Clayton said.
She added, “Some of my former students are now doctors, engineers, pharmacists, nurses, veterinarians and science teachers. Of course, they make me proud. But I would like to think that wherever their paths have taken them, all of my students took with them the idea that I cared about them and wanted to share knowledge with them. “
Family has been the greatest support system in her career, including her parents and husband.
“When I chose chemistry as a career, it was still not a common choice for a woman. My parents, Phil and Clarice Davis, never suggested that the field was inappropriate for a girl and they encouraged me, though it did worry my dad that I never took typing. I still regret that I did not!
“My husband, who is a retired teacher and administrator, taught me how to love kids by being firm with them and that asking more of them is the best way to encourage them. He also made me realize that asking more of your students requires that you work hard alongside them.”
Clayton said the thing she has loved most about the field of education is the combination of a subject she enjoys and people she loves, including her co-workers.
“When I came to EC, Ron Davis (former ECCC Science Division Chair who died of cancer in 2006) was a wonderful encourager and mentor. He provided guidance and suggestions, but always made me feel that he was confident in my abilities. He was already ill that year I came to EC, though he seldom let it slow him down. I wish I could have worked for him in happier years.
“The faculty members in the science division are special friends and have been like family to me. I will miss the daily contact with them most of all. Shortly after I was hired Dr. Sparkman (Lavinia, former ECCC Vice President for Instruction) asked Mrs. Davis (Patti, ECCC science instructor), ‘Well, how is Mrs. Clayton getting settled in?’ Patti replied, ‘It’s like she has always been here.’ It was a wonderful compliment, and exactly how I feel about EC and especially the science department. My husband refers to them as my cohorts, misspelling it as ‘cohearts.’ Come to think of it, I don’t think it is misspelled at all.”
Clayton has been named to the MEC STAR Teacher Hall of Fame, awarded to those who have been named STAR Teacher for 10 years. She was also named Outstanding Teacher for the Mississippi Association of Physics Teachers and Mississippi American Chemical Society Outstanding Teacher. At East Central, she was named an ECCC Lamplighter in 2007, which honors outstanding community and junior college instructors, and was selected HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day: Working Toward Academic Excellence) Instructor of the Year in 2008.
Clayton and her husband, Tom, have been married for almost 39 years and are members of Highland Baptist Church, where they both serve as Sunday school teachers. They have three grown and married sons: Sean (Erica), Jason (Danielle) and Adam (Brenda); and six grandchildren: Kaitlyn, Nolan, Madelyn, Liam, Averie and Logan.
“Tom is my best friend and the person I most want to spend time with. We have three grown sons, now married to the daughters God did not grant us until our sons went and found them. They have blessed us with six beautiful grandchildren, who remind us daily how old we have gotten to be. It is like the saying, though: ‘If I had known grandchildren were this much fun, I’d have had them first!’”
She will be honored with other retirees at the end-of the-year faculty luncheon scheduled May 9 on the Decatur campus.
These members of the East Central Community College tennis teams were honored during “Sophomore Appreciation Day,” held prior to the group’s final home match against Northwest Mississippi Community College on April 15. The Warriors and Lady Warriors both claimed victories in the home finale. Pictured are (from left) Newton County Academy product Andrew Hanna of Union, Kelsey Tadlock of Decatur and Blake Cochran of Hickory, both of Newton County High School; and Leake Academy products Josh Peoples and Hunter Mayo, both of Carthage. Not pictured are Chris Mays of Louisville and Neshoba Central graduate Lucas Calvert of Louisville. Dianne O’Neill serves as tennis coach.
These members of the East Central Community College Lady Diamond Warrior softball team were recognized during “Sophomore Appreciation Day,” held prior to their home finale against Jones County Junior College on Tuesday, April 23. Pictured with family members are (from left) Katherine Upchurch, Eden McGee and A.J. Peeler, all of Neshoba Central; Tenna Patterson of Lexington (Ala.) High School, Marlee Massey and Dakota Vowell, both of Neshoba Central; LaJoya Griffin of Philadelphia and Mary Sanders of Vidalia, La. and a product of Adams County Christian School. ECCC fell 6-0 and 10-1 to the visiting Lady Bobcats. The Lady Warriors are led by head coach Kristin Chaney and assistant Courtney Nunn. (EC Photo)
Corinth High School soccer standout Tesia Keith (seated right) recently signed a national letter of intent to continue her career in 2013-14 at East Central Community College in Decatur. Keith, a 5-7 defender, received her team’s most improved player award. She has 10 years of soccer experience. Pictured with the new Lady Warrior are (seated left) her mother, Edwina Taylor; and (standing from left) Kenneth Thompson, ECCC men’s soccer coach; Gregg Parker, Corinth boys’ soccer coach; Chris Coleman, Corinth High School Athletic Director; Trey Tomlinson, Corinth assistant girls’ soccer coach; Cameron Glenn, Corinth girls’ head soccer coach; and Gray Massey, ECCC women’s soccer coach. (Submitted Photo)
Southeast Lauderdale High School soccer standout Kennedy McReynolds (seated left) is shown signing a national letter of intent to continue her career in 2013-14 at East Central Community College in Decatur. McReynolds, a midfielder, is a first-team All-District selection and also earned team most valuable and best offensive player awards. She has 13 years of soccer experience. The new Lady Warrior is shown with (seated at right) her father, Kevin McReynolds, and (standing from left) Kenneth Thompson, ECCC men’s soccer coach; Miguel Mata, Southeast Lauderdale soccer assistant; Gray Massey, ECCC women’s soccer coach; and Mike Thomas, Southeast Lauderdale head soccer coach. (Submitted Photo)