Home Local News Friday graduation features PJC top student award

Friday graduation features PJC top student award


Photo submitted Sophomore students nominated for the Paris Junior College Distinguished Service Award include, from left, Breanna Smallwood, John Altmann, Maddie Ellsworth, and Giselle Benitez. Not pictured is Jayla Oldfield.

While not quite at the record of more than 600 graduates at Paris Junior College a few years ago, more than 440 students have applied to graduate from PJC this semester. More than half plan to walk in the Friday commencement ceremony at 7 p.m. in Noyes Stadium, 1230 S.E. 24th St.

Part of the ceremony will be the announcement of the Distinguished Service Award, the highest student honor given at PJC. Five outstanding sophomores have been nominated for the Distinguished Service Award this year, including John Altman, of College Station, Giselle Benitez, of Paris, Maddie Ellsworth, of Clarksville, Jayla Oldfield, of Detroit and Breanne Smallwood, of Mt. Pleasant.


Altman is a two-year member of the Dragons baseball team and Phi Theta Kappa (two-year college international honor society), as well as a community volunteer. He served as the Student Government Association secretary/treasurer, and won the 2019 Bobby Walters Cup for highest GPA among all PJC sophomore athletes.

Benitez is a drama major who participated in Delta Psi Omega, the drama honor society. She is a community volunteer, represented PJC at Community College Day in Austin, and received the Outstanding Sophomore Drama Student Award.

Ellsworth is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, has worked in the PJC Writing Center, and was nominated for Miss PJC. She also placed second in Creative Writing for Research with Documentation in the annual creative writing awards competition.

Oldfield is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, serving as Vice President of Fellowship, is a community volunteer, and worked in the Writing Center, assisting other students.

Smallwood is a two year member of the PJC softball team and of Phi Theta Kappa. She has volunteered with the Dixie League Tryouts and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

For more information about graduation, contact the Office of Admissions and Records at 903-782-0425.