Crowder College AEL Honors Graduates and Award Recipients Ceremony

AEL Spring graduation 2023

Neosho, MO – Crowder College’s Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) program proudly celebrated the achievements of its HiSET graduates, recognized the individuals inducted into the National Adult Education Honor Society (NAEHS), and awarded outstanding students, community partners, and scholarship recipients at a ceremony held on June 2, the Bob Sneller Gymnasium on the Neosho Campus of Crowder College.

The evening commenced with a warm and heartfelt welcome by Juli DeNisco, the Director of Adult Education & Literacy at Crowder College. DeNisco congratulated all the graduates and student award winners from all the Adult Education and Literacy, English Language Learner, and Integrated Education and Training classrooms on their remarkable accomplishments.

Special guests seated on the stage during the ceremony included: Don McBride, Crowder College Trustee and Chief Executive Officer of Access Family Care; The Honorable Missouri State Senator for the 32nd District, Jill Carter. She is a graduate of East Newton High School and Crowder College; and Dr. Katricia Pierson, Crowder College President.

Leigha Layne announced the recipients of the HiSET Scholarship. Each student scored remarkably high on the High School Equivalency Test and earned a scholarship to Crowder College. This scholarship award includes $625 to apply toward tuition and fees for up to five semesters. HiSET scholarship winners in attendance: Aiden Akehurst, NaJeana Jones, Jamey Baker, Daniel Jones, Carianne Bollinger, Jeremiah McGuire, Joel Bridges, Joshua Rea, Lola Epperly, Kamden See, Ramiro Espinoza, London Goodson, Ivory Southard, and Joseph Southard.

National Adult Education Honor Society (NAEHS) induction of 30 NAEHS new members, symbolizing their outstanding achievements, work ethic, attitude, and commitment to lifelong learning.

Acknowledging the vital role of collaboration with the business community, Crowder College recognized Tyson Foods Inc. as the CCAEL Employer Partner of the Year.

Rachel Luebbering, Director of Life360 Resource Center in Monett, MO, was awarded the prestigious CCAEL Community Partner of the Year, highlighting her remarkable commitment to supporting adult education and literacy in the community. Additionally, Whosoever MV, Inc., a new community partner, was recognized as the New Community Partner of the Year for their outstanding support of the AEL program.

The ceremony then turned its focus to the exceptional students who exhibited outstanding performance and dedication throughout their educational journey. Outstanding Student Awards were presented to the following individuals: Essa Ismael, Khua Moua, Jawid Farahmand, Lola Epperly, NaJeana Jones, Bibi Jani, and Ivory Southard.

Shelby Brunscher, an exceptional instructor and Assistant AEL Director was honored with the title of Crowder College AEL Instructor of the Year, recognizing the unwavering dedication and excellence in teaching and leading the program’s ELL Instructors.

The ceremony also served as an opportunity to award the AEL Terry Sherrill Memorial Scholarship. Weston Brandon was announced as the deserving recipient, showcasing his exceptional academic achievements and commitment to education.

Crowder College President, Dr. Katricia Pierson provided the commencement speech. “Pierson’s words resonated with the students, instilling them with confidence and urging them to embrace their achievements as they embark on the next chapter of their lives,” stated DeNisco.

“The Crowder College Adult Education and Literacy Graduation and Award Ceremony were a testament to the remarkable achievements of the students and the dedication of the AEL Instructors at Crowder College,” said Denisco. “This celebration of education and lifelong learning will undoubtedly inspire future generations to reach new heights in their educational pursuits.”

The CCAEL graduation and reception were provided by a generous gift from Mr. Bill Martin.

The Crowder College Adult Education and Literacy (CCAEL) Program serves Barry, Dade, Jasper, Lawrence, Newton, and McDonald Counties. CCAEL provides various classes including Adult Education and Literacy which provide HiSET test Preparation and College and Career Readiness, English Language Learner classes which provides English Acquisition, Civics Education, ELL Supported Driving Class, and Citizenship, Integrated Education and Training classes providing enrollment in a Crowder College AEL or ELL class, and a job training class learning contextually to the training content.

To learn more about the opportunities provided by the Crowder College Adult Education and Literacy program contact Juli DeNisco Crowder College AEL Literacy Director at 417-455-5521 or Follow the Crowder College Adult Education and Literacy – AEL Facebook Page. Crowder AEL Program Class schedule at