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Practical Nursing graduates a dozen from RLC program

A dozen Rend Lake College Practical Nursing students celebrated the end of their year-long journey Wednesday afternoon during a pinning ceremony in the Private Dining Area on campus.

Opening the ceremony was Betty Jo Herbert, Director of Nursing, who said, “Thank you all for being here today to celebrate with these students. They have been an amazing blessing to me. They set the bar for all the other students to come, for the rest of my career.

Callie Priebe of Pinckneyville also spoke on behalf of her class, thanking family and friends for their patience while the students worked hard in the program.

“This has been a long few weeks. I’m so proud of each and every one of my classmates,” said Priebe. “I can’t wait to see what is in the future for all of us. They never said it would be easy, they only said it would be worth it.”

After the pinning, RLC faculty led the students in the Nightingale Pledge. Juliana Pickford also led the ceremony with a prayer.

Erica Blumenstock, Associate Professor in the Practical Nursing program, added in closing, “I am very proud of these students – they have really achieved a lot. They worked very hard. They are a special little group to me because they are the first graduating class with our new curriculum. They worked hard and it’s paid off. Each one has made tremendous improvement, and I wish them the best of luck.”

To learn more about RLC’s Practical Nursing program, visit Click on the images below for larger views. For more photos, visit RLC’s Flickr page at

Group Shot at fountain W
The Practical Nursing graduates are, FRONT, FROM LEFT, Melissa Beaupre of Mt. Vernon, Mariann Cook of Benton, Breanna Davis of Zeigler, Rachel Easton of Benton, Zoie Frey of Benton, and Amanda Gant of Christopher; BACK, FROM LEFT, Laura Jamerson of Benton, Christine Keppler-Clayton of Benton, Leanne Ledbetter of Benton, Callie Priebe of Pinckneyville, Shirley Rogers of Mulkeytown, and Annabelle Shukites of Christopher.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Beaupre pinning W
Mt. Vernon’s Melissa Beaupre, LEFT, laughs as she is pinned by RLC’s Erica Blumenstock, Associate Professor, Wednesday afternoon. Each of the graduates received a pin in honor of their achievements.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Ledbetter smile W
Leanne Ledbetter of Benton, LEFT, poses alongside Erica Blumenstock, RLC Associate Professor, shortly after her pinning Wednesday afternoon.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

Nightingale Pledge M
While holding a lit candle in honor of Florence Nightingale, the recently-pinned Practical Nursing graduates recite the Nightingale Pledge. Pictured is, FROM LEFT, Amanda Gant of Christopher, Zoie Frey of Benton, Rachel Easton of Benton, Breanna Davis of Zeigler, Mariann Cook of Benton, and Melissa Beaupre of Mt. Vernon.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)