Feb 05, 2013

Columbia State Graduates Approximately 600

Alumnae Kawanda Braxton Serves as Commencement Speaker

Columbia State Community College held its 42nd annual commencement ceremony on Tuesday, May 12. Approximately 600 students from the College's nine-county service area graduated, and nearly 400 walked across the stage in the Webster Athletic Center on the Columbia Campus to receive their diploma.

Associate of Applied Science Degrees in the career entry programs of Business Information Technology, Criminal Justice, Early Childhood Education, General Technology, Horticulture, Business Management, Nursing, Radiologic Technology, Respiratory Care and Veterinary Technology were awarded. Certificates in the career entry programs of Early Childhood Education, Business Management, Emergency Medical Technology, Commercial Performance and Commercial Music were awarded. General Transfer Associate of Art or Associate of Science Degrees were awarded, and Associate of Science - Teaching Degrees were awarded.

Columbia State alumnae Ms. Kawanda Braxton was the commencement speaker.

Braxton currently teaches at Franklin High School as Special Education inclusion teacher. She is a native of Maury County and attended Spring Hill Schools from third through 12th grade. From Fall 1977 - Spring 1979, she attended Columbia State where she studied vocal performance under Bill Mangrum and received an Associate of Science degree - Accounting major in 1979. In the fall of 1978, she ran as the first female and first African American elected Student Government President. She went on to Memphis State University (currently the University of Memphis) on a Presidential Scholarship in the fall of 1979 and graduated in August 1983 with a Bachelor of Music - Vocal Performance - Opera.

Braxton has been a single parent of two daughters for sixteen years and lived in Germany and California prior to moving back to Franklin, Tennessee, where she now resides.

She was awarded Outstanding Classroom Teacher by the Williamson County Education Association in 2006-07 and the same year she was selected as Volunteer Teacher of the Year by her peers for Williamson County Schools. She is currently serving President-Elect of Williamson County Education Association and has been elected to attend the last four National Education Association conferences, and was sworn in on May 12 as President for the next two years.

"Columbia State learned that later on in the day, Ms. Braxton was admitted to Williamson Medical Center due to health concerns," said Dr. Janet Smith, president of Columbia State. "Our thoughts are with Ms. Braxton and her family, and we are very proud that she is a graduate of Columbia State. We wish her a speedy recovery."