GCCC’s 99th Commencement ceremony to get underway

GARDEN CITY — Clara Jackson and Raul Leyva-Montes have been selected as student speakers for the 99th Garden City Community College Commencement Ceremony, which will be held at 7 p.m. today, May 3, in the Dennis Perryman Athletic Complex.  

Jackson and Leyva-Montes were selected as the top two speaker candidates out of a group of their peers, after a written application and speech tryout process.

Clara Jackson

Clara Jackson, Garden City, is a Biology major with a 3.9 GPA. Clara is the daughter of Leland and Kathy Jackson. While attending GCCC, Clara has served as an officer and member of Phi Theta Kappa, President of the Student Government Association (SGA), and also participated in the Math and Science and Collegiate Quiz Bowl clubs.

Clara has served as a Level II Advanced Math Tutor in the Comprehensive Learning Center and has worked in the Fous Math and Science building as a Biology work-study.  During the 2019 Annual Phi Theta Kappa All-Kansas Academic Team Luncheon, Clara was honored as a member of the All- Academic Team, an award that came with a $300 stipend and a $1,000 scholarship.  Clara was named to both the President’s and Dean’s honor rolls during her time at GCCC. 

When Clara is not participating in academic or extra-curricular work, she finds time to serve the community.  For the past seven years, she has served on a mission trip to Mexico over her spring break. Clara has also volunteered for hurricane clean-up efforts and the Santa’s Helper Christmas efforts at Garfield Elementary School. 

After graduation at GCCC, Clara plans to transfer to Wichita State University, where she will major in Biological/Biomedical Science with a minor in Exercise Science and Psychology. 

When asked why she wanted to be a commencement speaker, Clara wrote, “…Because I have enjoyed my time at Garden City Community College and would like to encourage my fellow students.  I have grown from my experiences and have met some truly amazing students and staff.  I would love to share some of my thoughts about my time at GCCC, and I would like to share my gratitude with all those that have helped me become who I am today.”

Raul Leyva-Montes

Raul Leyva-Montes, Syracuse, is a pre-med major with a 4.0 GPA.  He is the son of Otoniel and Veronica Leyva, and his siblings include Brayan, Ruby, and Lupe Leyva.

While at GCCC, Raul has been a Presidential Ambassador, a Student Support Services member, a participant in the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), a participant in the Bridges program, the Math and Science Club President, and a Phi Theta Kappa officer. Raul has been on the GCCC President’s Honor Roll for two years.  In his spare time, Raul volunteers as a Big Brother with the Big Brothers Big Sisters mentorship program.  Raul also serves the community with PTK during their annual Angel Tree project.

After graduating from GCCC, Raul plans to attend Kansas State University to do undergraduate cancer research and receive a bachelor’s degree in Biology. He then plans to apply to physician assistant school. Raul would ultimately like to return to Southwest Kansas to practice medicine.

When asked why he wanted to be a commencement speaker, Raul wrote, “I have had a unique experience at Garden City Community College…I want to share what Garden City has done for me and how big of an impact a community college can have on students.  I also want to recognize the opportunities, values, and community support that GC3 has to offer.”

 The following Associate Degree and Certificate candidates will be recognized during commencement:

Kansas

Garden City

Jeffrey  William Acker Jr., Erika Acosta, Jessica Adame, Alejandro Aguilar, Carolina Aguilar-Huerta, Juan Alcantara, Veronica Aldana, Alejandra Alonso Olivas, Beatriz Alvarado Resendiz, Alyson Arana, Amanda Arredondo, Evelyn Arredondo, Anna Arroyo, Ashley Bamberger, Karen Barragan, Joscelyn Beckstrom, Darlene Bennett, Corrine Bergstrom, Jose Bojorquez-Enriquez, Jestyn Borunda, Dakota Britton, Griffin Brunson, Collin Bulkley, Emily Burns, Grant Burr, Perla Camarena, Fernanda Canal, Erica Carrillo, Alexis Castillo, Yesenia Castro Rangel, Cristian G. Castro-Lopez, Noely Cervantes-Cortes, Fernanda Chacon-Arzaga, Logan James Champlin, Karen Chavez, Mirranda Collins, Marian D. Contreras, Nathan Cook, Morelia Ines Coreas, Cabrina Corrales, Macklin Crone, Ethan Cronin, Kayla Cruz,  Margarita Katie Cruz,  Melisha Cuaraque, Emily Jane Curran, Jeffrey D. Cutter, Randa Elizabeth Daugherty, Kambra Blair Dearden, Denasar DeLaTorre, Davida D. DeLeon, Daisy Diaz, Paola Echeverria Hernandez, Serge Ezanyi, Gadira Felix, Ada L. Flores, Victoria M. Fonseca, Alex J. Franco, Alyssia S. Garcia, Maria Juana Garcia, Roberta Jane Garcia, Joseph Anthony Garza, Priscilla Abril Gomez Castaneda, Alexandria Gonzales, Ariana Aries Gonzales, James Gonzalez, Vanessa Gonzalez, Ashley Dawn Goss, Erin Green,  Isaac Grimaldy, Abigail Guerrero,  Javier Guillen-Arellano, Alejandra Gutierrez, Gracen Elise Haar-Becker, McKenzie Haar-Becker, Bret Michael Haire, Htoo B.Heh, Eric Heiman, Alondra Celeste Hermosillo, Alexander Hernandez, Guadalupe Hernandez, Jocelyne Hernandez, Johana M. Hernandez, Jorge A. Hernandez, Lourdes Amparo Hernandez, Marissa Hernandez, Katelyn Herrell, Jose Angel Herrera, Diana Hicks, Nalicia Marie Hidalgo, Katelyn Hill, Taylor Hoch, Lucas House, Aung Htoo, Brytnee Huggard, Clara Jackson,  Alejandra Jimenez, Nahum Juarez, Azat Jumadurdyyev, Courtney Keller, Kaylee Kershner, David T. Kilgore, Jami Kilgore, Madison Knoll, Andrew Kreutzer, Lyle U. Lakey, Yolanda Leyva, Gisselle Leyva-Ramon, Abismeal Licon Hernandez, Isabel Maria Longoria, Bianca Isela Lopez

Bucklin

Jonathan Allen Knight

Cimarron

Beverly Colleen Hodgs, Krista Jantzen, Brandon Reece Rodriquez, Katelynn White

Coldwater

Aaron Morales-Flores

Copeland

Alejandro Navarrete

Deerfield

Devin Oberembt, Jessica Jane Pepper, Troy Rivera, Dominic Weatherred, Hannah Marie Nguyen, Francisco G. Aguilar, Sam C. Austin

Dodge City

Franciscob G. Aguilar, Sam C. Austin, Allison Keim, Michael Paul Mah, Jennifer A. Thompson

Elkhart

Mikayla Danielle Armer, Esi Jawn Houtz, Brock McCabe, Morgan Sanchez

Gardner

Grant Lathrop

Greensburg

Pedro Banman

Healy

Chance Leighton Jones

Hoisington

Grant Dolechek

Holcomb

Ricardo J. Bahena, Haley Nicole Becker, Lexi Blackburn, Kalesha  Lynn Bownes, Carmen Xiomara Canales Saravia, Adriana Castruita-Canales, Justin Lee Franco, Anthony Andrew Garcia, Jennifer Lynn Garcia, Lisset Guzman, Arlette Hinestroza Ruiz, Luis Lozano, Devin Z. Mader, Elizabeth Mangels, Garett M. McGee, Brynna McVey, Luzbianca Elizabeth Munoz, Alan Novack, Erica Ortega, Breanna Owens, Jonathan Cris Prieto, Erick Quezada, Brayden Ramirez, Jacob Pablo Francisco Rico Martinez, Brandy Rodney, Diedra Smith, Miriam Solorzano, Karina I Solorzano-Aguirre, Brandon Scott Stegman, Taneal Marie Unruh, Leslie Vargas, Trevin Walck, Kloe Welch

Hoxie

Dawson J. Spresser

Hugoton

Jaqueline Armendariz Parra, Romano Burger, Tucker Breanna-Jo Freeman, Alyson Kiley, Miguel Angel Martinez-Camacho, Martha Elena Rubio

Ingalls

Megan Bartel, Cesar Hugo Estrada, Bryce Grubbs, Heather Daniellen Roth

Johnson

Catharine Burt, Jaqueline Chavez Varela, Braxton Chenoweth, Juan Daniel Muro, Omar Rodriguez, Ariel Carrasco

Kansas City

Jene’t Campbell

Kechi

Amanda Morlan

Kinsley

Gustavo Chavez

Lakin

Jenney Ann Adams, Michael Bruce Aller, Madison Rose Brown, Sierra Fearno, Taylor Fisher, Alicia Garcia, Caitlin                Teresa  Heinitz, Jared Edward Hendrix, Hyangjik Koh, Kaylee Line, Luis Guillermo McPherson Jr., Jasmine Snyder-Simmons, Emma  R. White

Larned

Marcus Nolde, Joshua Martinez, Luis Mijares, Yazmin Moreno

Manhattan

Jonathon Taylor

Mansfield

Kelcy Lavon McHenry

Meade

Payton Welsh

Montezuma

Edwin Berg, David Enns, Corny Klassen

Ness City

Savannah Lyn Lira

Norton

Tyson Gill

Nortonville

Gavin T. Polson

Olmitz

Cayla Steinert

Pierceville

Chanelle Andrews

Plains

Margie Yamileth Rueda Zapata

Protection

Jewel Jarnagin

Ransom

Madison LaRae Seery

Rolla

Kenzie Jones

Satanta

Joni Loepky, Miles Brady Purcell

Scott City

Oscar Luis Amezcua, Arely Armendariz Ruiz, Stephanie Band, Alysan Paige Buehler, Karen Hermosillo, Dorinda Jurgens, Tiana Fae Lausch, Jose Alexis Loza, TyLynn Mischelle Peterson, Dalton Cole Pfenninger, Raquel Trejo, Nancy Wiebe Schmitt

Sharon Springs

Maddison Lee Ellen Cunningham

Sterling

Brett Oden

Sublette

Dylan Shane Berg, Lisette Guadalupe Cobos, Quinnton Deon Gonzales Rubio, Jose Gonzalez, Jessie Adele Unruh

Syracuse

Madison Brown, Christian Gonzalez-Ortega, Kelly R. Hedberg, Payden Briann Hook, Raul Leyva-Monte Jessica  Maldonado, Taelor Oller, Edwin Reyes

Ulysses

Natalie  Carmona, Jose   Antonio Franco Jr., Gabrielle Marie Gutierrez, Kyra M. Hagerman, Alejandro Marquez, Zalee Racquel Roe, Hannah Camille Saxon

Wichita

Tyree    Johnson, Riley Maynard, Ana Y. Vazquez Visoso

Out of State

Jahod    Booker, Evergreen, AL; Zechariah Byrd, Prattville, AL; Malik Singleton, Maumelle, AR; Tremont Robinson White, North Little Rock, AR; Lotupo Heston Lameta, Pago Pago, AS; Victoria Bermea, Lancaster, CA; Ben Huston Raybon, Arvada, CO; Bailee Irene, Hatch Ault, CO; Mireya Mendoza, Cheyenne Wells, CO; Barbara  Ann Nigon, Firestone, CO; Jesus Jahir Gardea Caraveo, Holyoke, CO; Ryan Packard, Hudson, CO; Alexis Marie Smith, LaJunta, CO; Caitlyn Souza, Lakewood, CO; Russell Boyd Cruz, Littleton, CO; Camden Joshua Duane Blodgett, Sheridan Lake, CO; Edilawit Tsehay, Washington, DC; Watson Dorceus, Davenport, FL: Donte Morris, Miami, FL; Ellis Merriweather, Alpharetta, GA; David Moore, Alpharetta, GA; Joshua Mercer, Guyton, GA; Ja’Toriell KeVoria LeTrez Mance, Thomson, GA; Dedrick D. Mills, Waycross, GA; Martice Thomas,Blue Island, IL; Tyrese Davis, Baltimore, MD; Andreus                Price, Pikesville, MD; Christopher Dame, Amsterdam, MO; Stuart Wesonga, Polson, MT; Will Meadows III, Greensboro, NC; Jamir S. Thomas, Passic, NJ; Jaleel Simmons, Plainfield, NJ; Zerrick Lamar Ponder, Isleta, NM; Cheikh Kebe, Bronx, NY; Shiseido Ashley Robinson, East Islip, NY; Howard Watkins Jr., Cincinnati,  OH; Jabbar Price, Youngstown, OH; Ariel Denney, Del City, OK; Sarah Jane Kraft, Hooker, OK; Ean Price, Leedey, OK; Jake Bay, Shattuck, OK; Eira Pando, Woodward, OK; Javez Baker-Hall, Philadelphia, PA; Talia DeZhane’n Roberts, Lexington, SC; Tylin Tremon Oden, Spring Hill, TN; Sara Gabel, Adrian, TX; Ashley Brown, Amarillo, TX; Charles Edwin West, Coppell, TX; Travis Luke Sullivan, Floydada, TX; Jacob Garza, Fort Worth, TX; Corbin Truslow, Georgetown, TX; Justin Brown, Houston, TX; Amaya Martin, Houston, TX; Russhard Cruickshank, Hutchins, TX; Miguel Angel Santana, Lamesa, TX; Holly Hayzlette, McKinney, TX; Willy Garcia, Perryton, TX; Paxton Robinson, Saginaw, TX; Devin Sienna Hernandez, San Antonio, TX; Marco Contreras, Sugarland, TX; Reginald T. Pair Jr. The Colony, TX; Daz’Monique Johnson, Tyler, TX.

International

Artur Henrique Abreu Barros, Belo Horizonte, BRAZIL; Marcus    Vinicius Felix Fernandes, Rio De Janeiro, BRAZIL; Matias Ivan Lopez Huencho, San Pedro Lonquen Sur, Calera de Tango, CHILE; Remi Emeriau, Barberaz, FRANCE.

The following candidates will also be recognized for diploma, certificate, associate, or bachelor degree awards from National American University:

NAU Graduates

Christopher Triplett, Dighton, KS; Herminio Cruz, Garden City, KS; Jerri Gilcrease, Garden City, KS; Hayden Goudy, Garden City, KS; Graciewin Khin, Garden City, KS; Allyson Knoll, Garden City, KS; Kimberly Kottas, Garden City, KS; Heather Lightner, Garden City, KS; Vianeit Lugo, Garden City, KS; Terri Matthews, Garden City, KS; Kelly Munyon, Garden City, KS; Jesus Navarette, Garden City, KS; Matthew Nonhof, Garden City, KS; Hayley Staats, Garden City, KS; Rachel Zesner, Garden City, KS; Contessa Caraballo, Levenworth, KS; Alicea Dawes, Pittsburg, KS; Lalani Kasselman, Scott City, KS