Haywood Community College


Contacts: Debra M. Davis, Diana S. Conard

185 Freedlander Drive

Clyde, NC 28721

828-627-4521 Fax: 828-627-4513

Date: 5-1-07

For immediate release.

HCC Students Receive NC Community College System Academic Excellence Awards

Two Haywood Community College students, Dawn Pomraning and Ted John Privette Jr, were recently awarded the North Carolina Community College System Academic Excellence Award.

Originally from Florida, Pomraning currently lives in Arden, NC and is a student in the Horticulture program. Upon graduating from HCC, she plans to do landscape design and horticulture consulting in the Asheville area through her own business, Garden Thyme Horticultural Services.

Pomraning has an associate degree in Human Resource Management from the Community College of the Air Force and a bachelor ’s degree in Business/Management from the University of Maryland. She is an active participant in Toastmasters, is listed in Who’s Who Among Students in American Junior Colleges, and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She is former president of HCC’s Horticulture Club.

As a student at HCC, Pomraning has participated in several hands-on activities such as design and implementation of landscaping at the Shook House Museum in Clyde and a landscape design for Enka Middle School. She also volunteers her time at the North Carolina Arboretum in the Certified Plant Program. She labels and inventories plants that are used for testing by landscapers to become certified.

Pomraning helped set up a student plant rescue mission for endangered plants in new developments. The area in the Waynesville community would have been bulldozed if the students had not stepped in to save the endangered plants. “These plants are becoming scarce,” she explains. “There’s a chance of them becoming nonexistent. This is a part of North Carolina’s culture.”

Pomraning has attended nine colleges and says HCC has the best instructors. “They have far exceeded my expectations,” she explains. “They are here for the students.”

Before coming to HCC, Pomraning spent 20 years in the United States Air Force where she was personnel manager for over 8,500 military personnel and 20,000 civilians.

“I left a successful career to start a new chapter in my life. I wanted to do something I was passionate about,” Pomraning said. “As an older student, I found I was more disciplined, passionate, and organized.”

Pomraning will graduate in May. She plans to pursue a master’s degree based on the solid foundation she gained at HCC. This summer she will work as an intern for 10 weeks at Calloway Gardens in Pine Mountain, Georgia. She enjoys volunteering, knitting, pottery, beading, and traveling.

John Privette, Jr. will graduate from the Accounting program in May. He hopes to find employment as an accountant while keeping up the assisted living facility he runs with his wife.

Privette says starting classes at HCC was an easy process. “It was easy to get started,” he explains. “There was no wait time to see if you was accepted and it was very cost efficient and convenient. The instructors and staff have been very supportive. They are what kept me here the first semester.”

Privette lives in Waynesville. He has spent the past fourteen years running an assisted living facility with his wife in Asheville. The facility is for mentally challenged adults and those with terminal physical medical situations. It provides physical and social needs for residents.

According to Privette, he came to HCC to pursue another profession after becoming emotionally drained from working 14 years with mentally challenged. As a student, he is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, has a demanding co-operative internship with an international firm, and is the primary accounting tutor.

Privette has one son and one granddaughter, who is also a student at HCC. He enjoys traveling and working crossword puzzles. He has traveled across the country three times.

Privette admits that after the initial feelings of not fitting in as an older student, it does have its advantages. “I know how to manage my time. I know what’s important and I seem to have more patience than a younger student,” he said. “I want the satisfaction of finishing a degree no matter how old I am. It’s like a validation.”

Both Pomraning and Privette will be honored at an awards luncheon in Raleigh, NC on Tuesday, April 24. This awards luncheon is an opportunity for the Community College System to showcase its students and their academic achievements and to highlight the work that the colleges do every day. Two students are selected from each community college in the system. Recipients of the award must be currently enrolled, have completed at least 12 semester hours, and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.25.