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Two local residents among dental program graduates

WILKESBORO – Two Surry County residents were among 16 who recently completed the Wilkes Community College Dental Assisting Program, taking part it the college’s 35th annual pinning ceremony in Wilkesboro.

Julie Beth Hicks from Ararat, and Olivia Olvera from Dobson, were among those who who completed the one-year diploma-level program and were awarded pins in recognition of their achievement.

Othere graduating included Madison Grace Behrer and Hannah Claire Williams from Statesville, Julia Ann Brown and Ally Ruth Hollar from Taylorsville, Elizabeth Chavez-Meza, Morgan Caroline Lilly and Ashlyn Faith Morgan from North Wilkesboro, Lindsey Morgan Greer and Ruiz-Lara from Jefferson, Laura Waddell Hamby from Wilkesboro, Melodie Brooke Hincher from Traphill, Myriah Irene Smoot from Boonville, Carol Sherlyn Vasquez from North Wilkesboro, Katlyn Brooke Walker from Hamptonville.

The pinning ceremony began with a student-led invocation given by Katlyn Walker, a graduate of the class of 2023. Morgan Francis, the interim president of Wilkes Community College, welcomed the guests to the ceremony, and Annette West, a faculty member of the dental assisting program, was the guest speaker. Jennifer Hastings, the lead instructor of dental assisting, presented special recognitions. Julia Brown received the Patient Care Award, Ashlyn Morgan received the Outstanding Chairside Assistant Award, and Lindsey Greer received the Scholarship Achievement Award.

The graduates were announced by Kristen Macemore, the vice president of instruction, and the pins were presented by faculty members Jennifer Hastings, Melissa Holloway, and Annette West. After receiving their pins, the graduates recited The Dental Assistants Pledge. Ashlyn Morgan, a graduate of the class of 2023, gave acknowledgments on behalf of the class. Tamara Beck, the dean of Health Sciences, gave the closing remarks, and Hannah Williams, a graduate of the class of 2023, gave the student-led benediction.

For more information about the dental assisting program, contact Andrea Smith, the health sciences admissions advisor, at 336-838-6459 or



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