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Ridgeland Campus graduates Surgical Technology Class of 2021

The Holmes Community College Ridgeland Campus held a Pinning Ceremony for the Surgical Technology Class of 2021 on June 24 in the McGowan Workforce Training Center. Five students were honored.  

Graduates included: Ashley Boles of Canton, Precious Conner of Vicksburg, Kaylee Dupre of Hazlehurst, Leah Brooke Irby of Canton and Anne Shannon of Brookhaven.

The ceremony began with a processional of the graduates, followed by an invocation given by Dupre. Following the prayer, Career-Technical Coordinator Allison DeWeese welcomed the crowd before Boles stepped up to introduce the guest speaker, Cate Wrenn.

Wrenn, a Holmes alumna, was the salutatorian for the Surgical Technology Class of 2020. She specializes in neurology in orthopedics at Merit Health Central. Wrenn will continue furthering her education as she begins Surgical First Assist School in August.

“I’m honored to be chosen as the speaker for the Class of 2021’s graduation,” Wrenn said. “I’m also filled with glee because I know what is in store for you in the coming months. As you adjust to your new norm, remember your foundation. The last year of instruction is your roadmap to success. After becoming a full-fledged certified surgical technologist, your next challenge will be which facility you choose. There our eyes will be opened to a shiny new world of anatomy and instruments.

“A surgical technologist’s place in the operating room compares to no other,” Wrenn said. “We are a direct safeguard to the sterile field. We are a surgeon’s right-hand man, or in this case woman. Where the surgeon leaves blanks, we fill them in. We are an integral part of each and every operation: a second pair of hands, a fresh set of eyes and the ultimate counterpart.

“We are also proxies for each patient who finds their way into our operating room,” Wrenn said. “With no voice, we speak for those who are under anesthesia. We put them first, and hold them to the highest regard. The career you have chosen is one of great satisfaction. Each time you step into the hospital, clinic or private practice, you are there to make a difference in each patient’s life. Congratulations Class of 2021”

Following Wrenn’s address, Travia “Shea” Coleman, instructor for the Ridgeland surgical technology program, approached the podium to present awards. Shannon was named valedictorian for having the highest GPA out of all the Ridgeland Campus surgical technology students and Boles was named salutatorian for having the second highest.

After the awards were given, Career-Technical Education Counselor Jovonna Parker called the students to the stage one-by-one to receive their certificates and pins. Ridgeland Campus Vice President Dr. Don Burnham and DeWeese presented certificates before Coleman pinned each young lady. Following the pinning, Dr. Burnham addressed the graduates one final time.

“Your instructor is a critical component of your success and she is as good as anybody in this country, probably in the world, at what she does,” Dr. Burnham said. “So thank you, Shea, for being who you are and instructing these students the way you do. Let’s also thank the spouses, children, parents, grandparents, guardians and significant others who have stood by you while you have been studying. I want to give them a round of applause.

“Last but not least, this day is about you guys,” Dr. Burnham said. “I know you probably didn’t think it was going to ever arrive, but it has. You’ve been together for a year. You may have cried together, laughed together and learned things about each other that no one else knows. You have persevered and moved into a field in which what you do can mean life and death. Your work is extremely important.

“As you move into the medical field, always keep your integrity,” Dr. Burnham said. “I’ll say it again, always keep your integrity. Guard it zealously. I want you to remember that Holmes Community College will always be a part of you, and know that we are here for you. We hope you’ll come back to see us and use us as a resource when you need us. Congratulations to you again on your accomplishment. May God bless each of you and may your lives reflect His glory as you move on to the next chapter.”

The graduates recited the Association of Surgical Technologists (AST) Code of Ethics before Conner concluded the ceremony with the benediction.

For more information about the Surgical Technology program on the Ridgeland Campus, contact Coleman at (601) 605-3396 or


IN THIS PHOTO: Pictured is the Holmes Community College Surgical Tech Class of 2021 with (far right) Instructor Shea Coleman. They are (left to right) Kaylee Dupre of Hazlehurst, Anne Shannon of Brookhaven, Precious Conner of Vicksburg, Leah Brooke Irby of Canton and Ashley Boles of Canton.

Holmes Community College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion,
national origin, sex, age, disability or genetic information in its educational programs and activities,
employment practices, or admissions processes. The following administrators have been designated to handle
inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies of Holmes Community College:

Inquiries regarding compliance with Title VI, ADEA, and Title IX are coordinated by the Vice President for
Compliance and Institutional Research, Henry B. McClellan Administration Building, Post Office Box 369,
Goodman, MS 39079, Phone: 662-472-9429,

Inquiries regarding compliance with Section 504 and ADA are coordinated by the Disability Student Services
Coordinator, M.R. Thorne Vocational-Technical Building, Room 110, Post Office Box 369, Goodman, MS 39079,
Phone: 662-472-9088,
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