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Congrats, grads!

Georgia Southern to celebrate spring graduates with commencement ceremonies Friday and Saturday


May 06, 2014

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    This weekend, Georgia Southern University again will divide its spring commencement into two ceremonies: the first for graduate students on Friday, May 9, and the second for undergraduate students on Saturday, May 10.
     Gov. Nathan Deal and 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year and Georgia Southern alumna Jemelleh Coes have been chosen as this year’s commencement speakers. Coes will serve as speaker at Friday’s graduate ceremony, scheduled for 1 p.m. at Hanner Fieldhouse, and Gov. Deal will speak on Saturday at the undergraduate ceremony, scheduled for 9 a.m. at Allen E. Paulson Stadium.
    Coes is a special education English language arts teacher at Langston Chapel Middle School in Bulloch County, where she has taught for six years. In 2012, then the youngest member of the faculty, she was selected to represent her school as Teacher of the Year and went on to become the 2014 Georgia Teacher of the Year.
    In her role as Georgia Teacher of the Year, Coes travels the state to serve as an advocate for education, providing workshops and keynote addresses statewide. She serves as a consultant for the Georgia Professional Standards Commission and is a member of the Department of Education Teacher Advisory Board, as well as a board member for the Georgia Partnership of Excellence in Education. She recently was appointed to Georgia’s Network for Transforming Educator Preparation Advisory Council.
    Deal took the oath of office as Georgia’s 82nd governor on Jan. 10, 2011, and his top goal is keeping Georgia the No. 1 place in the nation to do business, a ranking the state earned in 2013. He helped attain this recognition by creating the Competitiveness Initiative, reforming the tax code and recruiting businesses to relocate here.
    A Sandersville, Ga., native, Deal served in the U.S. Army at Fort Gordon in Augusta after graduating with a law degree from Mercer University. He then began a private law practice in Gainesville, Ga., the hometown of his wife, Sandra Dunagan Deal. While she worked as a teacher for Hall County public schools, the governor began a long span of service to his community as a prosecutor, judge, state senator and U.S. congressman.
    During his 17 years in Congress, Deal rose to chair the Health Subcommittee of Energy and Commerce, where he became a noted expert on entitlement reform and health care policy. Deal ended his congressional career to campaign for governor, becoming the Republican nominee in August 2010, then winning the governorship in November of that year.
    For those who are not able to make it this weekend, several options are available. Again this year, a live Web cast will be streamed during each ceremony and can be accessed by visiting www.georgiasouthern.tv. The broadcasts will begin a few minutes prior to the actual start of each ceremony, allowing viewers to watch the graduates march in to the beat of “Pomp and Circumstance.”
    For more information about Georgia Southern’s spring commencement ceremonies, visit georgiasouthern.edu/commencement.

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