A-State Chancellor surprises two special teachers

A-State Chancellor surprises two special teachers
Chancellor surprises teachers with their diplomas. (Source: Arkansas State University)
Online Degree Delivery: Lake Cormorant Elementary School

Last week, Chancellor Kelly Damphousse surprised two recent A-State graduates who couldn't attend commencement with a special ceremony at Lake Cormorant Elementary School in Lake Cormorant, Miss.

Posted by Arkansas State University on Tuesday, May 21, 2019

LAKE CORMORANT, Miss. (KAIT) -Two teachers thought they were stressing the importance of education when they got the surprise of their lives.

According to an A-State article, teachers Tasha Blaylock and Stacey Morgan mold young minds at Lake Cormorant Elementary School in Mississippi.

Principal Carol Smith told the fifth-grade class and teachers that A-State Chancellor Kelly Damphousse would be coming to their school to speak about the importance of a college education.

What they didn’t know was he was coming for Blaylock and Morgan.

The two teachers both graduated from A-State’s online program but were unable to attend their commencement ceremonies.

So, Smith and Damphousse set to work with the help of the teachers’ families.

Tasha’s husband, Scott, contacted Damphousse to ask if he could make a degree delivery.

Scott was an organ-transplant candidate and his condition wouldn’t allow them to make the drive to Jonesboro.

“We are so proud of Tasha and Stacey, and when we heard about the idea, we all jumped in to help make it happen,” Smith said. “All year we have been emphasizing going to college to our fifth graders, and we said we were going to have a speaker talk to them about that.”

Damphousse spoke to the students about how his education changed his life. Then he led into the big surprise.

“You know, all your teachers, they went to college," Damphousse said to the students, "In fact, two of them, Tasha Blaylock and Stacey Morgan, just graduated from Arkansas State.”

Family members, who were hiding off-stage, brought out caps and gowns for the two teachers.

Then Damphousse presented their diploma covers and class challenge coins, while “Pomp and Circumstance” played on the gym’s audio system.

“We tell our students and our graduates that every Red Wolf counts," Damphousse said. "When I can take a moment to honor the work and sacrifice of graduates, I am thrilled to do so. For many of our online students, the only time they visit Jonesboro is at commencement. I want them to feel connected to their alma mater.”

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