Daylight Savings Time may have caused us to turn our clocks ahead an hour, but we never stop pressing forward at James Sprunt Community College. Construction on the new Nursing addition in the Hoffler Building is almost complete.

Plans are underway for our second Drive-Thru Graduation Event, and we are gearing up for a great summer semester.

A year ago in March, I sat in the Boardroom on a Sunday afternoon with several JSCC administrators. We mapped a plan to continue to serve students as we faced a pandemic, possible closures, lockdowns, and minimal face-to-face instruction.

The planning, commitment, and dedication of our staff, faculty, and students paid off as we recently learned that James Sprunt Community College experienced the greatest growth of any community college in North Carolina in the past year.

Only three colleges grew, and JSCC is one of the three, And JSCC had the highest growth.

There is no way I can personally thank our staff and faculty enough for staying the course and continuing to remain true to our mission during the past year.

I would also like to express a great deal of gratitude to our students who continued pursuing their educational and career goals during this unprecedented time.

We recently enrolled our first C3 student at JSCC, which means this student is guaranteed admittance at North Carolina State University upon completing the Associate’s Degree at JSCC.

We hope our community is as excited as we are about this additional opportunity for Duplin County graduates. Many thanks to NCSU for partnering with JSCC on this initiative, and a special thank you to Mr. Wendell Murphy, NCSU Trustee, for supporting this endeavor.

The month of March delivered great news from the North Carolina Bar Association that an application for JSCC to offer a Paralegal program was approved. Stay tuned for more information about launching paralegal studies in the summer semester.

This program will be provided through the Workforce Development Department and will be a hybrid delivery course of study leading to a credential. Contact Gloria Wiggins for more information at 910-275-6198, or email gwiggins@jamessprunt.edu .

Plans are to highlight different programs, staff, and faculty this year within this monthly article. I decided to spotlight our Barber program this month, which is under the direction of Patsy McCoy. Patsy is undoubtedly one of the most energetic and positive people I have ever met.

She takes great pride in the Barber program, is a remarkable role model for her students, and she always leads by example. She has graduates working at several military bases, in public service, and many are self-employed.

Ms. Patsy McCoy has almost 40 years in the Barbering profession. She graduated from Barber School in 1981, and she has an Associate’s Degree in Business Administration from JSCC.

She received her Bachelor’s degree in Management and Organizational Development from the University of Mount Olive. Patsy served as the NC Board of Barber Examiners Chairman for one year and as a board member for several years.

She possesses a John Maxwell Leadership Certificate and is a graduate of the Duplin County Center for Leadership Development.

In the middle of the pandemic, Patsy graduated her 100th student, implemented a weekend Barber School program, and has the most students ever enrolled in her program! Patsy also had JSCC approved as a testing site for the NC Board of Barber Examiners.

Patsy believes in teaching the whole student. She begins each class with a quote to prepare and ignite her students’ minds for the day. Her desire is for her students to become active in their communities, become servants, and never stop learning. Patsy says, “Never-ending improvement is the mark of a professional barber.”

Dylan Zuschlag, a recent JSCC Barber School graduate states, “JSCC’s Barber program is the best program in NC.

The instructor, Patsy McCoy, is incredible and makes sure you understand everything thoroughly before moving on. I just recently finished the program, and I feel very accomplished with what I’ve learned. If you want to be great, Ms. McCoy will pull it out of you. I recommend this Barber program over any Barber program in the state.”

For information about the program or become one of Patsy McCoy’s success stories, contact her at pmccoy@jamessprunt.edu or call 910-275-6209.

We look forward to welcoming many new students into our Spartan family this summer. Don’t delay; reach out to us at 910-296-2400. It is YOUR time. #SpartanStrong.

Dr. Jay Carraway is President of James Sprunt Community College.

Michael Jaenicke can be reached at mjaenicke@ncweeklies.com