HGTC Celebrates Class of 2022
Horry-Georgetown Technical College (HGTC) is proud to announce that more than 1,300 students received degrees, diplomas, or certificates from Horry-Georgetown Technical College this year, and nearly 600 of them marched at HGTC’s commencement ceremony Thursday, May 12 at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center.
HGTC’s President Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore presided over the ceremony and celebrated the success, hard work, and dedication of the Class of 2022.
“Graduating from college is a major accomplishment, requiring many sacrifices, and you should be proud. Your journey to this point may have seemed daunting as you coped with rigorous course loads and dealt with personal or financial challenges that sometimes put your graduation in doubt. Through it all, you remained faithful to your goal - a symbol of your determination and the value you place on your HGTC education,” said Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, HGTC President.
Graduates’ ages ranged from 16 to 75, and students came from states as far away as Montana and Maine and from countries as far as Turkey, Brazil, Ukraine, Honduras, Thailand, Mexico, Colombia, Canada, Uzbekistan, Peru, and Guatemala.
A number of awards and honors were given during the ceremony:
- Chrystal “Tina” McAfee received the Service and Leadership Award.
- Stephen “Scott” Shoemaker, Professor of Electrical Lineman Technician, received the Professor of the Year Award.
- Monica Ramsey, Administrative Coordinator for Human Resources, received the Staff of the Year Award.
- Dr. Rick Maxey, Superintendent for Horry County Schools, and Mr. Randy Webster, Director of Emergency Management and Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety, received Distinguished Patron Awards; and
- Mr. Buzz Freeman received the Distinguished Service Award for his many years of service to the HGTC Foundation.
This was HGTC’s fifty-sixth commencement.
Professor of the Year Award 2022 - Stephen “Scott” Shoemaker
More than two decades ago, HGTC began a tradition of recognizing a member of our full-time faculty for instructional excellence, contributions to students’ growth and development, and contributions to the academic reputation of the college. The College continued that tradition this year with the naming of the outstanding “Professor of the Year.” This year’s honoree was presented with the college mace and will serve as grand marshal at the 2023 commencement ceremony.
Our 2022 Professor of the Year is a graduate of HGTC and spent 37 years in industry before joining the College. Upon arrival, this professor created a new program to help prepare students with the knowledge and skills to enter high-demand jobs within this same industry. Under his leadership, the program has doubled in size, boasts a 98% job placement rate, and maintains a strong reputation in the community. Thanks to the partnerships with local employers such as Santee Cooper and grant opportunities with Duke Energy, the Electrical Lineman Technician program has grown into the largest training yard in the state with HGTC being the only college in South Carolina to offer training in all lineman disciplines, including overhead and underground distribution and transmission overload. We are joined today by his wife, Patti, two of their four children, JulieAnn and Josh and a few of their 6 grandchildren who share: “You have once again raised the bar. Through the years we have been together, you never settled for less - achieving success at Santee Cooper and teaching our children and grandchildren along the way. You are hardworking, a “get it done and play hard” type of person… and now this year’s Professor of the Year. We thank you for the way you take care of us, and we love you very much.”
Staff of the Year Award 2022 - Monica Ramsey
Just as HGTC recognizes excellence in teaching, the college also honors a member of the full-time staff for exemplary service. The recipient receives an award from the College and the HGTC Foundation.
Our 2022 Staff of the Year has proven her dedication to HGTC with a level of positivity that is contagious. Originally from Tennessee, she worked for an independent financial advisor in the Myrtle Beach area for 22 years prior to joining the College. In her four years of service to the College, she has initiated both a comprehensive employee wellness program and an employee recognition program. Over the past two years, she has served on the College’s COVID response team and has helped to manage the implementation of CDC and DHEC protocols. Throughout this unprecedented time, her energy lifted everyone’s spirits daily. She and her husband, Frankie, have been married for 27 years. Her family includes her daughter, Brittany, and son-in-law Chase. She loves working out at the gym and spending time with her toy poodle, Tobey.
Service & Leadership Award 2022 - Chrystal “Tina” McAfee
The Service and Leadership award is presented to an exceptional student who best exemplifies the values of HGTC. Recipients make significant leadership contributions and demonstrate the values of responsible citizenship.
The 2022 recipient of the Service & Leadership Award was given the highest recommendation by Chair and Professor of Teacher Education, Becky Hubbard. She is considered a non-traditional student working for years in the cafeteria of a local elementary school. While serving students, she discovered her love and passion for helping others and decided to pursue her teaching certification. Despite her responsibilities as a mother of two young children, she has maintained a 3.9 GPA. She is the type of student that most professors are thrilled to have in their classes. Most recently, she was selected for the 2022 New Century Transfer Pathway Scholar and honored as an outstanding student by her professors with a $2,250 scholarship. Her selection was based on the score she earned in the All-USA Academic Team competition, for which more than 2,000 applications were received. She was the top scoring student from South Carolina. Receiving her associate in applied science degree today in Teacher Education, she is well on her way to receiving her teaching certification.
Distinguished Patron Awards 2022 (2)
HGTC honored two extraordinary public servants who have been instrumental in the success of HGTC, education in area schools, and the safety of the community.
Dr. Rick Maxey
HGTC was pleased to show appreciation for one of the College’s strongest partners in education for this local community. Dr. Rick Maxey has more than 35 years of experience in teaching and educational leadership. He began his career in Horry County Schools as an English teacher at Loris High School. Over the years, he has held many positions of leadership in the District and was named Superintendent for Horry County Schools in 2015. Under Dr. Maxey’s direction, innovative partnerships with HGTC have grown and expanded. One of the strongest partnerships between HGTC and Horry County Schools is the Horry County Early College High School which is located on the Conway Campus of HGTC. The Early College High School is recognized as one of the best high schools in the country year after year. Our Early College High School students complete their high school requirements as well as college-level courses, with many students completing associate degrees as they graduate from high school. Dr. Maxey demonstrates strong support for HGTC in other ways. Under his leadership, the Program for Accelerated College Enrollment (PACE Program) has flourished. This is a dual enrollment program, where high school students take college classes and earn both high school credit and college credit, while being enrolled at their base schools or at the academies. The strong partnership with Horry County Schools has helped HGTC grow its PACE Program and to be recognized as a leader in the state of South Carolina for its offerings to high school students. Mr. Ken Richardson, Chairman of the Horry County Schools Board of Education says, “Not only does he have impeccable credentials, but his caring nature and good heart are evident. That is fundamental to the work that we do. Together, we have weathered some storms over the last two years and come through them still strong. It hasn’t been easy, but Dr. Maxey has given his all and has made a difference, every day, and every year, for the students and community we serve.”
Mr. Randy Webster
HGTC recognized an equally important member of the community who also works tirelessly to make this local area a better place for us all. Many times, his work is behind the scenes, but HGTC certainly benefits from the impact of his efforts. Mr. Randall S. Webster “Randy” has been in public safety for 40 years, with 33 of those years being in Horry County. He began his career in his home state of West Virginia, working with the Fire Department and as a paramedic. Throughout his career, he has gained valuable experience through holding varied positions with Fire Departments, Emergency Medical Services, and Public Safety agencies. Randy is recognized for his leadership during the natural disasters the area has experienced through the years, including more than 20 significant weather events such as Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Florence. Horry County Administrator, Steve Gosnell, says the following about Mr. Webster: “Randy exemplifies a public servant. He is kind, courteous, professional, dedicated, and willing to sacrifice his personal time to serve his community. I have worked with Randy for 30 years, and I am thankful every day that he agreed to take on the senior management position as Assistant County Administrator over Public Safety and become a member of the Executive Staff.”
Distinguished Service Award 2022 - Mr. Buzz Freeman
Mr. Buzz Freeman has served the HGTC Foundation for over 18 years. In July 2009, he was unanimously elected to serve as Chair of the Foundation Board of Directors and has been serving for 13 consecutive years. “Thank you for years of service and dedication to our students, our employees, and our College. I present to you this award for Distinguished Service for all you have done for HGTC,” said HGTC President, Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore.