Phi Theta Kappa candidates inducted Ceremony confirms their commitment to learning, growing

STEPHEN H. COWLES/STAFF WRITER
stephen.cowles@tidewaternews.com
Tidewater News

PTK 2018 AThe newly inducted members of the Omega Zeta Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society gather for a group photo after the ceremony on Thursday evening in the Regional Workforce Development Center. The inductees, in no particular order, are: Emily Balance, David Claud, Robert Cross, Taylor Darden, Paula Duran-Piner, Alyssa Felgentreu, Jon Hall, Deirdre Hambrick, Janvi Jadeja, David Jarvis, Michelle Miller, Emma McClelland, Justin Perry, Gloria Shears, Eneida Smallwood, Candace Triplett, Elizabeth Williams, Robert Williams and Shantrice Wood. Not pictured is Stacy Pauley.
 
Before they signed their names, carried the ceremonial candles or even received their pins, the candidates for induction into the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Omega Zeta Chapter, first heard words of experience and wisdom from the guest speaker, Tidewater News Publisher Tony Clark, himself an alumni of the renown organization.
 
Students at Paul D. Camp Community College who have excelled in their studies were invited to join the renown Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, Omega Zeta Chapter.
 
Their acceptance took place on Thursday evening in the form of the ceremony, which occurred in the Regional Workforce Development Center.
 
The theme for the occasion was “Transformations: Acknowledging, Assessing and Achieving Change.”
 
Clark related his personal experiences of learning in college, which were initially not without their stumbling blocks.
 
Being on his own for the first time, without parental supervision, gave him space to spend more time enjoying the college life, rather than learning in the classes.
 
It was suggested he might want to reconsider whether higher education was right for him.
 
Some years later Clark awakened to the realization — the acknowledgement — that he could learn.
 
Clark set about taking a couple of summer classes at J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College, in which he earned A’s.
 
Following through the next semester, he continued to flourish.
 
“I kept having success,” he said, and later went on to earn at 4.0 GPA.
 
“I was invited to join the PTK and immediately accepted.”
 
This personal transformation, Clark added, “was tangible proof I could excel.”
 
Going from self-doubt to self-confidence, he began to assess the possibilities before him, such as a career.
 
Following acknowledgement and assessment, then the next step is to achieve change.
 
“A very, very powerful place to be,” said Clark.
 
For example, at one time he was working at Manry-Rawls, then moved over to newspapers.
 
One position led to another here in The Tidewater News, and today Clark is not only publisher and vice president here, but also publisher at the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald in Ahoskie, North Carolina, and Coastland Times in Manteo, North Carolina.
 
The ceremony that was about to begin, he said, “is not the end, but really the beginning … from here you can go whichever path you choose. Do not limit your possibilities.”
 
The membership into PTK is “an accomplishment that cannot be taken away from you,” Clark continued.
 
“Be proud, and expect to make your mark in your community and the world.”
 
Brenda Bergess, PTA advisor, called the candidates forth one at a time. Each came to sign their names in a register.
 
Cynthia Gurstseigler, PTK president, stood by as witness.
 
Then the new members each took a candle and lit it from the flame that represents the society’s torch.
 
That, said Bergess “is symbolic of knowledge, which is the servant of wisdom which dwells in prudence and leads in the way of righteousness in the midst of the paths of judgment.”
 
The inductees are: Emily Balance, David Claud, Robert Cross, Taylor Darden, Paula Duran-Piner, Alyssa Felgentreu, Jon Hall, Deirdre Hambrick, Janvi Jadeja, David Jarvis, Michelle Miller, Emma McClelland, Stacy Pauley, Justin Perry, Gloria Shears, Eneida Smallwood, Candace Triplett, Elizabeth.

PTK 2018 CAfter signing her name as an official member of the PTK honor society, Gloria Shears carries a candle to signify she is carrying the light of learning to others throughout her life. — Stephen H. Cowles | Tidewater News