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RLC’s Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi chapter inducts 38 students into Class of 2016‏

Thirty-eight Rend Lake College students were inducted into the Phi Theta Kappa International Honor (PTK) Society Rho Xi chapter yesterday in the RLC Theatre. In addition to the inductees, one RLC faculty member – Joseph Ervin, English Associate Professor – was named the 2016 Teacher of the Year.

Jena Jensik, Rho Xi Chapter Advisor, welcomed the inductees and audience to the ceremony with a few brief words. Lori Ragland, Vice President of Career Technical Education, also provided a welcome and an opening address.

“During your time at Rend Lake College, I encourage you to take advantage of these opportunities in scholarship, leadership, service and fellowship, and to tap into the resources that are available to you,” Ragland said to the inductees. “Whether it’s an instructor, your advisor, a custodian, security officer or the president of the college, we are here for you to support your development; to help you up when you fall, encourage you when you want to give up, and cheer for you when you succeed. Congratulations on your academic achievements thus far, and I wish you all the best as you continue your journey.”

The 2015 Teacher of the Year Emily Jones, Biological Sciences Associate Professor, also gave words of advice to the inductees in the form of a quote by bestselling author H. Jackson Brown, Jr., “The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today.”

“You’re all already doing this, or you wouldn’t be getting inducted here today,” said Jones. “My word of advice is to enjoy your time now. Don’t get so caught up in doing your best that you can’t enjoy today. You’re here to learn, but believe it or not, you can have fun at the same time. You’re here to achieve a big goal, and you all are on the path to doing so. Good luck in all you do.”

Ervin, 2016 Teacher of the Year, echoed many of Jones’ advice, further adding his shock at receiving the award, which is voted on and decided by the inductees.

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2016 PTK Teacher of the Year
Joseph Ervin, English Associate Professor, was chosen by the PTK Class of 2016 as the Teacher of the Year. Students said Ervin made classes fun and pushed them to think outside the box.
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

“I’m honored and stunned to be your nominee this year, and I’m honored for a number of reasons,” said Ervin. “Rend Lake College is my home; I knew it was where I belonged the moment I stepped foot in Ina. It’s a place of learning where students arise to the challenge. But please remember, school is more than what is written in books. Don’t forget that and don’t be afraid to fail.”

Claire Pytlinski of Waltonville, Rho Xi Chapter President, then called each student to the stage to sign the chapter’s record book to conclude the ceremony. After the formal induction, the students enjoyed refreshments and snacks at a reception in the Theatre Lobby. Brett Gibbs accompanied the ceremony on the piano.

PTK has inducted over 3 million members worldwide since 1918. According to the honor society’s website, there are over $90 million in scholarship opportunities for members. The average grade point average of all members is 3.8 and members see a 92 percent average graduation rate. For more information about PTK, visit www.ptk.org.

To learn more about PTK at RLC, contact Jensik at 618-437-5321, Ext. 1293 or [email protected].

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Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi at RLC
These Rend Lake College students are Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi inductees from Franklin and Marion counties. Pictured is, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Amy Kovarik (Benton), Cris Cawthon (Centralia), Andrea Shaw (Benton), Courtney Jay (Benton), and Cynthia Jaco (Benton); BACK ROW, FROM LEFT, Nicholas Marlo (Sesser), Kieran White (Sesser), Brittany Ferris (Benton), Valerie Potmas (Zeigler), Wade Hutchens (Ewing), and Jacob Young (Benton).
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

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Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi at RLC
These Rend Lake College students are Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi inductees from Jefferson County. Pictured is, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Colleen Skobel (Mt. Vernon), Alexandrea Ritchey (Mt. Vernon), Jamie Rizzo (Woodlawn), Rebecca Clark (Mt. Vernon), and Brittany Lomax (Mt. Vernon); BACK ROW, FROM LEFT, Victoria Skobel (Mt. Vernon), Christina Conner (Ashley), Joshua Miller (Ina), and Jared Cross (Mt. Vernon).
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

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Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi at RLC
These Rend Lake College students are Phi Theta Kappa Rho Xi inductees from Champaign, Hamilton, Jefferson, Washington, Wayne, White, and Williamson counties. Pictured is, FRONT ROW, FROM LEFT, Shelby Collins (Bluford), Maude Wheeler (McLeansboro), Megan Rubenacker (Dahlgren), Amber Hadley (Marion), and Alexis Hadley (Marion); BACK ROW, FROM LEFT, Hannah Zyk (Du Bois), Jada Caston (Champaign), Sherri Smith (Wayne City), Kyle Sell (Norris City), and Kaleb Burris (McLeansboro).
(ReAnne Palmer / RLC Public Information)

The following students were not in attendance at the ceremony but have been inducted into PTK: Taylor Aldridge (Eldorado), Drake Carter (Enfield), Trenton Fisk (Pinckneyville), Rachel Kirsch (Mt. Vernon), Adam Porter (Christopher), Megan Rudolphi (Mascoutah), Steffany Shasteen (McLeansboro), and Kyler Spencer (Nashville).