50 Alumni

Success story 1

Phillip Cornett

Phillip Cornett was a Business Computer Programming/Transfer student in the mid-90s and continued his education at Western Carolina University and then at the Elon University School of Law. After doing private practice in the Raleigh area, he moved back to Stanly County and served as an Assistant DA before being appointed to the District Court bench in 2020. “SCC laid the foundation for my future profession,” Phillip says. “I remember using the Internet for the first time in the SCC library! I also remember many ping pong matches in the student center. Most of all, I remember hard-working instructors who were very passionate about what they were doing.”

Success story 2

Dianne Yow Daniels

Dianne Yow Daniels was a member of the first Associate Degree Nursing class, graduating in 1986. “I never felt like a number at SCC,” she said. After graduation, she worked in the health care area and obtained Bachelors, Masters, and Doctorate degrees. She returned to SCC as a nursing faculty member and then taught nursing at UNC-Charlotte. She would later accept a position at Pfeiffer University to create and lead its BS in Nursing program. After moving to Durham to be near family, she taught at UNC-Chapel Hill before recently retiring. “The SCC instructors were exceptional and mentored me for years and I credit them for motivating me to pursue nursing education as a career and to ‘pay if forward!’”

Success story 3

Lee Pickler

Lee Pickler graduated with a Computer Programming degree in 1987 and has started two companies in Stanly County using “skills I developed while at SCC!” He has continued his involvement with SCC hiring graduates, speaking to student organizations, and serving six years on the College’s Foundation Board, including a term as chair. In 2020, he was named the SCC and North Carolina PBL’s Business Person of the Year and was one of three state recipients to be recognized at the national level. “I remember having really dedicated instructors. I also remember the fun of class trips for pizza and the nervousness of PBL competitions! SCC has been a major influence in my life!”

Success story 4

Paige Wilhelm graduated in 2017 with an Associate in Arts degree. “SCC instructors helped me to accept myself and believe in myself, and that was a key component in my completing my degree at SCC and then undergrad and graduate ones from UNCC in Social Work.” Paige was a member of the Spectrum Club. “As a student desiring a future helping others, I remember being impressed that SCC had an accessible but discrete food pantry for students with emergency needs. I encourage anyone considering college to attend SCC. It’s a wonderful and beneficial experience for students of all ages and walks of life.” Paige has stayed in Stanly and Cabarrus counties since graduating.

Success story 5

Courtney Seidenschmidt Furr

Courtney Seidenschmidt Furr received an Associate in Arts degree in 2013 and has been employed by Wells-Fargo since then. “PBL allowed me to network throughout the state and country, and a competitive event judge from Charlotte gave me my career opportunity. I started my career working with Brandon Harkey, a fellow student and the PBL president the year before I was. He had a huge impact on my life; even though we have lost him, I still remember how he helped make SCC the experience of a lifetime! I appreciate the instructors and PBL and SGA advisers who saw leadership potential in me and pushed me to take advantage of opportunities.” Courtney and her family have remained in Stanly County.

Success story 6

Rick Gardner

Rick Gardner was an SCC student from 1982-1985 and then received a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration/Management from Catawba College. He recently retired from a 34-year career with Ahold Delhaize, working his way from a Food Lion bagger to an executive position in the corporate office. “Stanly Community College had a tremendous influence on my life, and there are fellow students and instructors that are good friends all these years later.” Rick was the first state PBL president to be elected from the Stanly chapter and was a member of the 1983 team that won the first state First Place Parliamentary Procedure Award for the school. “I joined because he national competition that year was in San Francisco, but I’ve used those parliamentary skills in business, on various Boards, as a member of the Locust City Council before moving to Concord.” Rick continues his PBL involvement by serving as president of the state PBL Foundation Board of Directors.

Success story 7

Kara Finch

Kara Finch received a Human Services Technology degree and a Substance Abuse certificate in 2003. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree from Gardner-Webb University and a Master’s from UNC-Charlotte, she is now the Human Services curriculum head. Prior to returning to SCC, she worked as a Substance Abuse Technician, a First Step Medical Social Worker, the Union Regional Home Care In-Home Aide Program coordinator, the Council on Aging in Union County Retirement Community administrator, the Village of Woodridge Adult Protective Services Social Worker, and with the Gaston County Department of Social Services. “My current co-worker in the Human Services curriculum was a huge part of my time at SCC. Her knowledge and caring attitude toward students made a large impact on my life and my career choice.” Kara says another person who influenced her was Shirley Dennis, the person for whom the SCC Adult High School Graduate Award is named. “She was such a kind and compassionate instructor. Her smile was contagious. Her death was a loss for future classes, but she continues to inspire those of us who knew her.”

Success story 8

Britney Pouch Tran

Britney Pouch Tran says, “When I think about my years at Stanly Community College, I think of being pushed beyond my comfort zone, but by people who believed in me!” Britney graduated in 2019 with a degree in Business Administration and works as a sales support specialist at Fastenal. She was active in the SGA and was PBL president, qualifying to represent North Carolina at national competitions in Baltimore and San Antonio. “SCC gave me the opportunity to travel to new cities and experience meeting new people; had I not gotten involved on campus, I would have stayed inside my shell and not have the memories and friends that are dear to me. I also appreciate that the school offered so many resources to help students like me be successful. I wanted to set an example to my daughter, and SCC gave me the opportunity to do that.”

Success story 9

Tara Huneycutt Curlee

Tara Huneycutt Curlee graduated from the Associate Degree Nursing curriculum in 2011. “I remember having the best instructors a student could ask for, and I learned nursing and many other lessons from them.” Tara was part of the ROSE scholarship program and says she encourages students to take advantage of the support and assistance available. She was also involved in the National Society of Leadership and Success, and received one of the Student Leadership Honors medallions prior to graduation. Upon finishing at SCC, Tara started immediately in the operating room of Stanly Regional Medical Center, before Atrium. She worked there for three years and moved to Hospice with Pruitt Health, serving 22 counties. She is currently a Clinical Liaison Nurse with Community Home Care and Hospice. “My advice to students is to keep their eyes on the prize and don’t give up when classes get tough.”

Success story 10

Sarah Thompson Morton

Sarah Thompson Morton has lived in Stanly County her entire life, graduating from Stanly CC in 2006. “I remember my first semester was spent trying to decide if I wanted to pursue a degree in nursing or another field. I took two Anatomy and Physiology classes with an amazing instructor who both encouraged students and helped students realize their strengths; as a result, I worked toward a Business Administration degree and have never regretted it.” After graduating, Sarah worked in several positions before “making the best decision I could make: coming back to SCC as an employee. I’ve worked in the Business Office four years now and am so blessed to be here with co-workers who show care for one another and the students.” Besides classes, Sarah says she remembers the ping pong tables and constant games in the Webb Center – and the SCC café’s amazing grilled cheese sandwiches!”

Success story 11

Kathy Almond

Kathy Almond graduated from the SCC Fashion Merchandising and Marketing curriculum in 1982. “When I started in 1980, only two buildings existed ‘on the hill.’ I was part of the first group to have classes in the Kelley Building!” Kathy was president of the SCC PBL chapter and received the Outstanding Student Leader Award at graduation. In 2002 she received the Outstanding Alumni Award. Kathy says she remembers instructors who taught content and built leadership skills and life skills that have served her well. “I remember classes that emphasized creativity. I also remember the excitement of representing SCC at state and national PBL conferences.” Completing a bachelor’s degree at Gardner-Webb University, Kathy was the Executive Director of the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation before becoming President of the Stanly County Chamber of Commerce. She is currently the owner of Uwharrie Living LLC.

Success story 12

Cemita Huneycutt Gibbs

Cemita Huneycutt Gibbs graduated with an Associate degree in Business Data Processing in 1984. “I still remember spending endless hours in that computer lab; however, I also remember instructors who were dedicated to helping me and the others succeed. It was an exciting time since at that time computers were providing a whole new way of operating businesses, not to mention personal work.” Since 2008, Cemita has been the Executive Director of Stanly County Habitat for Humanity. “Philanthropy focusing on affordable housing has become my passion. Habitat is truly a ministry, and I appreciate the contributors and community support we receive. I enjoy knowing I’m a part of something bigger than myself, and it’s a rewarding experience knowing we’re making a difference in the lives of many people in Stanly County. SCC instructors and mentors gave me the skill set and foundation I needed to make a positive impact in my community.”

Success story 13

Marty Ingram

Marty Ingram says he remembers two instructors who were true mentors and how often they used the term “professional!” At SCC, Marty was in the Business Administration curriculum; he went on to Mars Hill College for an undergraduate degree and then Gardner Webb University in Executive Leadership. After teaching in the classroom for 24 years, he recently became the assistant principal at West Stanly High School. “I made life-long friends at SCC, especially through my involvement in SGA and PBL. I remember my first day of class, I was asked to attend a state PBL event three hours away. It was the first of many memorable experiences, culminating in being a member of the first North Carolina team to reach the ten finalists in national Parliamentary Procedure competition, held that year at the DisneyWorld hotels. Those two years provided a lot of fun but also serious opportunities.” Marty says he remembers instructors pushing him to take advantage of chances to represent the college, meet community leaders, and speak in public. “I appreciate the interest in bringing out the best in me, and my experience at SCC set the example for all these years of working in the public schools.”

Success story 14

Fredia Owens

Fredia Owens was a member of the 1995 graduating class, receiving a degree in Business Administration. "I went back to school while being married with two children, being a caretaker for a relative, and working out of town. My determination and the support of SCC instructors helped me be successful. Sometimes that support got on my nerves (like being told the world would never give me credit for being educated if I couldn’t remember that there is no such word as 'irregardless!'), but I have them to thank for making me do my best." Fredia obtained a Bachelor's degree from Montreat College and then an MBA from Strayer University. She has been a manager with Life Connection of the Carolinas, a Charlotte non-profit organization working with at-risk children, but she is now opening her own medical supply business in Albemarle. "I am thankful for the educational start SCC gave me and the value of being positive and excited about opportunities, REGARDLESS of obstacles that might be in the path."

Success story 15

Kent Harkey

Kent Harkey graduated in 1980 in Marketing and Retailing and from 1979-1999 was a member of the management team of Belk-Albemarle. In 1999, he began a second career as an NC licensed agent broker with CENTURY 21 Russ Hollins Realtors. "I came to SCC after a semester at a university, and I appreciated the smaller class sizes and the individual attention. Both the business training and my experiences in Phi Beta Lambda have enabled me to conduct business for local non-profit organizations and community groups." Kent has served on and chaired the boards for The Uwharrie Players, the Albemarle Downtown Development Corporation, and the Stanly County Historical Society. "Stanly County has always been my home, and I’m proud of my education from our own community college and now the opportunities to use so many of the skills learned to make Stanly a good place to live."

Success story 16

Ira Jackson

Ira Jackson graduated in 1994 with degrees in Accounting and Business Administration. "After bouncing around with some jobs, I got the one I really wanted; every day I am thankful for my position at the Albemarle branch of the US Post Office!" Ira says he remembers two female accounting instructors who never refrained if they needed to direct his step! "I realize now how much I learned from them and how they always had my back. All my classes were seated ones, and I learned so many life lessons from faculty who shared professional and personal experiences as they taught. That helped me keep focused on why I came to school and helped me become a better person by being more interested in others. Young or old, SCC is a place for anyone who is serious about becoming a successful employee and involved citizen."

Success story 17

Carolyn Walls Rabon Laudati

Carolyn Walls Rabon Laudati graduated in 1987 with a degree in Business Computer Programming, serving as SCC PBL chapter president and then state president. During a career as a Weight Watchers International leader, she received the SCC Outstanding Alumni Award. "That was a significant achievement for me because I had worked hard at SCC and was proud of my career success. All those presentations and speeches paid off! I can't begin to say what a couple of SCC instructors mean to me. They nudged - actually pushed - me into leadership roles and opportunities that changed my outlook entirely." After starting at Pfeiffer University, Carolyn enrolled in Central Piedmont Community College and found her interest in art. Retired from Weight Watchers, she now does paintings for enjoyment and as a home business. "I spent an afternoon looking at the 50th Anniversary photo pages and smiling; SCC is a major benefit to area citizens!"

Success story 18

Jonathan Schulz

Jonathan Schulz started at Stanly Community College in 1998 in the Adult High School program, proceeded into the Associate Degree Accounting curriculum, and, upon graduation in 2002, was hired to work in the college Business Office. "When in the Adult High School program, the director encouraged me by hiring me as an instructor’s assistant. I was 16 and she had to sign my work permit. She was truly the best, and that kind of interest and encouragement by instructors continued throughout my education." Jonathan says he remembers that students had two days to come to campus and stand in a long line to register and then proceed to another long line to pay in full since no payment plans were available. "We've come a long way to make the process easier!" In addition to his GPA, he says he is proud of the awards he received as a member of the PBL Parliamentary Procedure team that won First Place at the state level and then Sixth at national competition.

Success story 19

Hannah Rushing

Hannah (Tucker) Rushing says she had excellent and memorable classes at SCC, especially the Networking class in which she was the only female and met her husband, Brent! "I started SCC right after high school in 2013. After a semester in Computer Engineering, I switched to Networking. My instructors did an amazing job at explaining things, and they made class enjoyable." While a student, Hannah and Brent held Work Study jobs in the IT Department. She was SGA secretary for 2015 and participated in the National Society of Leadership and Success. “I learned a lot working in the Media Services area as well - and had one of the best bosses imaginable!" Hannah and Brent have continued classes at East Carolina University. She works as a Desktop Support Engineer for Union County Schools, and he works for Carolinas Netcare as a Network Engineer. The Rushings are celebrating their fourth anniversary and the birth of their first child in September 2021. "Needless to say, SCC is special to both of us, and I still miss being there."

Success story 20

Gail Garner

Gail Garner is a graduate of the first Respiratory Therapy class in 1975 when it was a one-year program. "I remember our Respiratory classes were delayed while the instructor worked his notice at his previous job. During that time, we did double time with our English course! When the instructor arrived, despite not having a lot of equipment at school, he gave us great exposure at hospital settings and through clinical rotations." Gail said she was not satisfied with her certification and wanted to get an advanced degree. She took the required courses and passed the exam to become a registered respiratory therapist. After nine months at Randolph Hospital, she was employed at Stanly Memorial, starting as a technician, become assistant director, and now 37 years later she is now Department Manager of the Cardiopulmonary Department. "It has been a very rewarding career, and I am appreciative for the opportunity to attend SCC, I'm also proud that my daughter Rita is a long-time employee of the college!” Gail became a charter member of the SCC Alumni Association.

Success story 21

Betsy Hill Hazlett

Betsy Hill Hazlett graduated in 1995 with an Associate degree in Accounting. “I had the most caring instructor in that program. She was determined – maybe more than I was at first – that I would do well in accounting. As a result of her insistence, I believed in myself and was committed to doing my best.” Betsy continued her education and received a Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Gardner Webb University. While at SCC, she was a winner in the state PBL Job Interview competitive event; one of her early jobs was as an HR director and interviewing potential employees. She is now Director of Finance for Carolina Christian School. “My accounting degree has definitely served me well!” Betsy’s husband is also a graduate. “Jason reminds me he has a special place in college history when in 1972 he became the first child born to an SCC employee!”

Success story 22

Jessica Baker

Jessica Baker completed the majority of her SCC program online while living in Germany, graduating in 2013. “The faculty were so wonderful and worked with me to meet the requirements; although we were online, the classes involved collaboration with other students. When we moved back to the US, the instructors recognized me at a community event.” Jessica, through the articulation agreement with the SCC Early Childhood program and UNC Greensboro, completed Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. “I’m also proud to say I’m a third-generation SCC student; my father and grandmother attended SCC in Allied Health programs!” Jessica is now employed as head Success Coach at SCC.

Success story 23

Dexter Townsend

Dexter Townsend, his wife, Tina Scott, and his daughter, Lyric, are all graduates of Stanly Community College. He finished the Business Administration curriculum in 1988, placing in the top 5 of the state PBL Future Business Executive event that year. Dexter began working at Preformed Line Products and is now a Production Supervisor. “SCC has been a major part of my family’s life, and I am very appreciative for the opportunities it provided us.” Dexter is the District 1 representative on the Albemarle City Council, a member of the county NAACP, a supporter of the EE Waddell Center, and chairperson for 20 years of the Annual Martin Luther King Prayer Breakfast. Dexter was presented the 2021 SCC “Outstanding Alumni Award.”

Success story 24

Martha Sue Hall

Martha Sue Hall graduated from Stanly Community College and then continued her education at Gardner-Webb University in Business Administration and NC A&T University in Adult Education. Her career with the court system was highlighted by being named the administrator when in 1999 the 20th District was selected to be one of the first Family Court sites, a position she held until her recent retirement. Having been the first woman elected to the Stanly County Board of Commissioners, she is now serving her fifth term on the Albemarle City Council. At SCC, she was the local president and a state officer of Phi Beta Lambda, winning state Future Business Executive and Parliamentary Procedure competitive events. “I often tell young people not to forget who brought you to the dance, and I am always proud to express my appreciation for the education and leadership development opportunities I received at SCC!”

Success story 25

Jackie Jernigan

Jackie Jernigan has been part of Uwharrie Bank (formerly Bank of Stanly) for over 38 years and is now Executive Vice President. She received an Associate degree in Accounting in 1982. “I attended evening classes while working full time, and I recall how accommodating the faculty was. I remember all the faculty as having the students’ best interest at heart!” During her career, Jackie attended the NC Bankers Association Mid-Management and Advanced Management Programs, the Queen’s College Women in Management curriculum, and the U of Wisconsin Bachelors/Graduate Schools of Banking Community Bank Management Program. “Innovations in technology have allowed me to be involved with exciting new products and services, and the discipline of study I received at SCC during my early years served as my foundation and springboard.”

Success story 26

John Burkett

John Burkett finished the SCC Electronics Engineering Technology curriculum in 1988. “Everyone at SCC was amazing!” While a student, John was president of the Electronics Club and was active in the Student Government Association. After graduating, he worked in Charlotte at Speizman Industries for ten years and then started his own Home Improvement business, K & S Handyman Service, in Stanly County. “I believe God has blessed and guided me through my education and successful business adventure, and I am pleased that my wife of 32 years and I, along with our two children, call Stanly County home! Attending SCC was the opportunity that made my career possible.”

Success story 27

Beth Hopkins

Beth Hopkins received an Associate in Arts degree from SCC in 2003. In 2008, she returned to the campus as a full-time faculty member, teaching psychology classes. After completing Bachelors degrees in Psychology and Human Services from Pfeiffer University, Masters in Continuing Education in Counseling and Psychology from the University of West Alabama, and Doctorate in Health Education from NC A & T University, Beth became Dean of University Transfer and Precollege at SCC – in addition to still teaching psychology and health education classes. “I have many fond memories of SCC faculty members inspiring me and encouraging me to pursue additional education.” Beth was a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society while at SCC. “I was one of the first instructors to teach psychology online, and I am proud that the college has been a pioneer in online education.”

Success story 28

Shana Poole

Shana Poole, over nine years, received an Associate degree in Advertising and Graphic Design and an Associate in Arts degree as well as a certificate in Substance Abuse. She recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services from Southern New Hampshire University and is now employed at the college as a success coach. “I remember the faculty and staff were very supportive, even willing to stay after class if I had questions. My first job was as a Work Study student in the Learning Resource Center; the staff were wonderful role models.” A member of the Human Services Club while a student, Shana is now one of the organization’s advisors. “SCC is a special place to my family. My mom and brother received degrees; she is a retiree of the college.” I want to be the supportive employee that so many were to me.”

Success story 29

Kevin Misenheimer

Kevin Misenheimer graduated from SCC in 1991 with degrees in both Business Ad and Accounting and was active in Phi Beta Lambda. He then transferred to Pfeiffer University and earned a Bachelors degree, followed by Western Carolina University for an MBA. After working at Pfeiffer as the controller, he began teaching at SCC. After earning a Ph. D. in Business Administration, he is now teaching in the School of Business at Richmond Community College. “Stanly Community College was a great place for me as a student, and the school is the reason I continued with my education. I think the experiences gave me the foundation that made the additional degrees possible and provided the interest in a teaching career in the community college system.”

Success story 30

Jared Deal

Jared Deal graduated in 2016 from the SCC Biomedical Equipment Technology curriculum. “I remember excellent staff and faculty. My primary instructor was friendly and helpful, and I appreciate the guidance and interest I received.” Following positions in Pinehurst and Greensboro, Jared is now in Charlotte as a Biomed Equipment Tech 2 position with Philips Healthcare. “When someone asks me to describe my education at SCC, I don’t hesitate to begin with ‘quality!’ I was aware of that when I was a student, but it has become even more evident as I work in the field. My decision to attend SCC was a good one, and I am proud to be a graduate!”

Success story 31

Linda Burr West Long

Linda Burr West Long was not only a member of the first Associate degree class but holds the distinction of being the college’s first straight-A graduate. A 1974 graduate from the Early Childhood Specialist curriculum, she describes her experience as “awesome!” “I remember being excited about being part of a new adventure. Everything was a first for us. The instructors pushed us hard, and I found myself being very motivated by their enthusiasm.” After operating her own day care business, she was hired at Aeroquip to work in quality control, later becoming only the second woman worldwide to hold a Production Supervisor position with the company. She finished her career as a Quality Analyst at Harmony Labs in Kannapolis. “Children continued to be a part of my life, and even in ‘retirement’ I have youngsters coming to the ‘School Room’ in my house. What I learned those 50 years ago is still being used!””

Success story 32

Gerald Poplin

Gerald Poplin started and served as president of Uwharrie Technology, Inc., until his recent retirement. He received a degree in Business and Accounting in the first graduating STI class of Associate students in 1974. “I remember everything from learning to say ‘library’ correctly to serving as SGA president to the Business instructor who was a mentor and friend!” Gerald went on to receive degrees from Pfeiffer and Strayer universities prior to a doctorate from Warren National University. He has served terms on the local Economic Development Commissions, Downtown Development Commission, Board of Elections, as well as the First Presbyterian deacon board. He was recently appointed to the state IT Strategy Board and a 10-member Apple Consultants Network Advisory Council. “During my career I was fortunate to get to teach classes at several schools; my favorite: SCC!”

Success story 33

Nancy Jo Fish

Nancy Jo Fish worked on her Associate degree in Accounting part time for over a five-year period. After graduating in 2000, she has worked her way up to Senior Financial Services Officer at the State Employees Credit Union. “I never thought I had the chance to further my education, but I was excited to go to school and succeed,” Jo commented. “It was hard because I was working full time and raising three children while attending classes. My primary instructor led me through many decisions and encouraged me during my time at SCC. I have stayed here in Stanly County, and I am always proud to say I am an SCC graduate!”

Success story 34

Zoua Ly

Zoua Ly received an Associate in Arts degree from SCC, and she is now the owner, cook, and enthusiastic greeter of Ly Cuisine, an Albemarle restaurant featuring authentic Thai cooking. “I was a member of the Spanish Club and participated in a Student Leader program, and I enjoyed getting to know and work with other students, especially the time we did a baked goods fundraiser to buy Christmas gifts for a family of ten children,” Zoua remembers. “I truly enjoyed learning in all my classes. The instructors were excellent in their teaching. Whether it was learning to eat Mexican flan, finding that algebra could be fun, experiencing unforgettable British literature pieces, or gaining the courage to speak before a group of people, I found the instructors encouraging rather than intimidating.” Zoua was the recipient of the Outstanding Student award at her 2004 graduation. “I was so pleased with my education, and I think my excitement helped lead my children to choose SCC as well.”

Success story 35

Amy Ray

Amy Ray graduated from SCC in 2017 with an Associate in Arts degree. She then obtained a Bachelors in Accounting from UNCC and recently finished her Masters in Accounting from UNC-Greensboro. “No college could be better than SCC because of the people and the classroom environment! The faculty and staff taught me diligence, critical thinking skills, and the love of business. Through student organizations, I was pushed out of my comfort zone. SCC saw potential in me that I didn’t realize, and I am very thankful.” Amy served as president of the SCC Phi Beta Lambda chapter, a state PBL officer, and national PBL treasurer. “I am appreciative of the support SCC gave me, and I was proud to represent the college while serving in these offices.” Amy began her career with PriceWaterhouseCoopers and is now in the Core Tax division of BDO USA, an international accounting network. “Being from Charlotte, I will always remember, too, the beautiful view of the surrounding hills, especially the array of fall colors!”

Success story 36

Faith Davis

Faith Davis is an employee of the Stanly County Public Library. After moving to Albemarle from New York in the 1980s, she earned an Office System Technology Associate in Applied Science degree at SCC. “I have always loved libraries. While I was at SCC, I had the privilege of working at the Learning Resource Center as a Work Study student. I actually helped move books from the Patterson Building to the Snyder Building and arranged them on the shelves before the grand opening of the new classrooms and the library.” For five years, Faith owned and operated her own business, Locks of Braids, and during COVID she worked with the Stanly County Health Department hotline assisting in the clinical department. “The instructors at SCC made sure we all received quality educations, and they helped me succeed in reaching my goals. Plus, the campuses are so beautiful!”

Success story 37

Sherry Barbee Potts

Sherry Barbee Potts graduated from the Executive Secretarial Science curriculum in 1980 and worked at SCC for a year before going to BellSouth corporate headquarters in Charlotte. “SCC did an incredible job of training us to work with up-to-date office equipment and processes,” Sherry commented. Active in SGA, Sherry was also president of Phi Beta Lambda the first year the Stanly received the state “Chapter of the Year” honor. “My first flight was to New Orleans to attend the National PBL Conference. It was quite an experience; strolling down Bourbon Street is not the same as attending an Oakboro Fourth of July celebration. My second PBL trip was to Washington, DC., which was very exciting. Those experiences and my classes prepared me to be confident and qualified employee.” After a number of years, I decided to assist my husband manage our businesses – and be at home more with my three sons. “I will always be appreciative of the genuine, caring, and supportive faculty at SCC. Their example made me aware of contributing to both my community and its organizations.”

Success story 38

Sheila Efird Duke Kendrick

Sheila Efird Duke Kendrick attended Stanly Community College from 1977-1979, graduating with an Associate in Applied Science degree from the Secretarial Science-Medical curriculum. “I enjoyed my education at SCC because of the great instructors and the encouragement I received while there,” Sheila commented. “When deciding on a job after graduation, one instructor helped me accept a position that I wasn’t sure I was qualified for. I ended up staying in the legal field for over 35 years. Her words gave the confidence to succeed and achieve more than I thought possible.” When a student, Sheila was a member of Phi Beta Lambda. “The additional learning experiences and socialization were wonderful.” Several years after graduating, Sheila returned to SCC to prepare for the exam to become a Certified Paralegal. Now retired, she is on the SCC Medical Assisting Advisory Board.

Success story 39

Debbie Newton Perry

In 1973, Debbie Newton Perry was a member of the second class to enter Stanly Community College – when it was Stanly Technical Institute. The SCC location then was what is now the E.E. Waddell Center. “The instructors were more than teachers; they were friends." Debbie said. “They were tough, but I learned a lot about ‘pushing through!’ My degree was in Secretarial Science, and there’s nothing like Shorthand classes to give you a challenge! Because the student body was small, we got to know one another really well and became like family.” Debbie was an SGA officer and was a charter member of Phi Beta Lambda when the organization began at STI in 1974. Debbie worked in Stanly County until moving to Alamance County. This spring she will retire from Elon University, where she has been a Secretary/Program Assistant for over 30 years. “It’s amazing to see how the campus has grown, but I know I received a strong education even when the college was being established and building its foundation.”

Success story 40

Daisy Mercado Lopez

Receiving her Associate in Science degree in 2020, Daisy Mercado Lopez is a recent graduate who is now a student at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. “Although it was a big adjustment going from a school the size of SCC to a large one like UNC-G, I felt prepared to meet the academic challenges. At SCC I could get assistance any time I needed it, even if when it involved something not strictly class work like getting scholarships,” Daisy commented. “If I had to pick a word to describe the SCC faculty, it would definitely be ‘helpful.’” While at SCC, Daisy was a member of the Multicultural Club. “The potluck cultural dinners is one of best memories,” she said. As a result of her experiences in that student organization, she joined CorazA ‘ FolklArico at UNCG. This past summer Daisy did an internship with Spiron Solutions as part of the Golden Leaf Leadership Program.

Success story 41

Maria Torres

Maria Torres is a 2020 graduate who is now at UNC Charlotte pursuing a Bachelor’s degree. “I had so many good experiences thanks to my involvement in the Multicultural Club and the role model that the advisor set for me. While at Stanly Community College, I learned so much more than the information taught in my classes. As a result, I felt prepared to handle the demands of being on a large campus as well as the inevitable stresses that I know will come as I begin my career.” Maria was also active in Student Government Association. “Taking advantage of these extra activities motivated me and taught me about working in teams and carrying out responsibilities so I’m appreciative of the opportunities and proud to say I am an SCC graduate!”

Success story 42

Delores Smith says when she started at Stanly “Technical” College in 1977 she was a scared, single mother with no confidence. “I just knew I wanted to make a better life for myself and my children. Little did I guess that before graduation I would be offered a job and 31 years later, I would retire from SCC.” A graduate of the Executive Secretarial Science curriculum, Delores was the first SCC student to place in a national PBL competitive event, receiving Fourth in Office Procedures in 1979 in New Orleans. “Many of the staff I worked with and instructors I had are still good friends. Their encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to reach my goal. I am thankful SCC was ‘home’ for my entire career, even if it did include standing through one of the longest ceremonies in the history of college graduations!”

Success story 43

Megan Sides graduated from Medical Laboratory Technologist curriculum in 2010 and worked at Rowan Regional Medical Center prior to a move to Atrium Health Cabarrus, where she is currently the Blood Bank Supervisor. A member of the Med Lab Club, Megan remembers a science instructor and a program chair who were “extremely supportive and made learning exciting.” Megan continued classes, earning a Master’s degree from Winston-Salem State University. “SCC representatives came to a career fair at my high school, and I began at the Crutchfield campus when it was new. That decision and opportunity gave me a career I love because of the difference I can make in the lives of our patients.”

Success story 44

Frank Thompson served as Student Government Association president while a student at SCC and was a delegate to the first state PBL conference attended by the Stanly chapter in the spring of 1975. He received degrees in both Industrial Management and Business Administration, and then worked for the City of Albemarle administering water and sewer contracts. He has also pastored God’s Church in Badin for 45 years. “It was such a good experience being a part of the start-up and growth of SCC. As a student, I appreciated the dedication and integrity of the faculty. What they taught was practical, and that helped me be successful in my work. I have continually used the leadership skills I learned while serving in SGA and as a charter PBL member, and I am thankful for those extra opportunities while I was at Stanly Technical Institute.”