Front row l-r: Megan E. Brookshire-Shepherd; Brittany Eller Rutherford; Ashley Nichole Mullis; Ashley Irlan Cave; Haley Perez; Rachel Dawn LaPrad; and Mary Olivia Cortez
Second row l-r: Madison Grace Jarvis; Kassey Lynn Casstevens; Amanda Danielle Ford; Madison Faith Huffman; Kourtney Danielle Merkel; Catherine Yates; and Ashley Dawn Blankenship

The Wilkes Community College Dental Assisting Program held the 31st annual pinning ceremony on August 2, 2019. Fourteen dental assisting students were presented with pins to signify their successful completion of the one-year diploma-level program. The graduates are Ashley Dawn Blankenship, Wilkesboro; Kassey Lynn Casstevens, Hamptonville; Ashley Irlan Cave, Hamptonville; Mary Olivia Cortez, Elkin; Amanda Danielle Ford, Hamptonville; Madison Faith Huffman, Millers Creek; Madison Grace Jarvis, Purlear; Rachel Dawn LaPrad, North Wilkesboro; Kourtney Danielle Merkel, Hays; Ashley Nichole Mullis, Roaring River; Haley Perez, North Wilkesboro; Brittany Eller Rutherford, North Wilkesboro; Megan E. Brookshire-Shepherd, North Wilkesboro; and Catherine Yates, North Wilkesboro

The ceremony began with Ashley Mullis, a 2019 graduate, delivering the student-led invocation. Dr. Jeff Cox, president of Wilkes Community College, welcomed guests to the ceremony. Annette West, Dental Assisting Faculty was the guest speaker. Jennifer Hastings, lead instructor of Dental Assisting, provided special recognitions.

The Patient Care Award was given to Ashely Blankenship, and Outstanding Chairside Assistant was given to Rachel LaPrad. The Scholarship Achievement Award was given to Haley Perez.

Blair Hancock, Vice President of Instruction, announced each graduate as faculty members Jennifer Hastings, Melissa Holloway, Debra Lowe, and Annette West presented the pins. Once all graduates received their pins, they said The Dental Assistants Pledge. Amanda Ford gave class acknowledgments. The ceremony closed with a student-led benediction by Catherine Yates.

The dental assisting faculty comprises Jong Byun, DDS; Christopher Dirig, DDS; C.P. Dunbar, DDS; Nikki Harrold, DMD; Jennifer Hastings, CDA; Melissa Holloway, CDA; Debra Lowe, RDH; Annette West, CDA; Dana Witherspoon, DDS; and Tonja Woodie, CDA.

The members of the WCC 2019 Dental Assisting Class are proud to name, Jennifer Hastings, CDA, as the recipient of the Outstanding Dental Professional Award for her support and dedication to the WCC Dental Assisting program. Mrs. Hastings has been instrumental in the success of the WCC Dental Assisting program and serves as a lead instructor/program director of the dental assisting program.

For more information about the Dental Assisting program contact Callie McCraw, health sciences admissions advisor, at 336-838-6459 or

Outstanding Chair-side Assistant Award – Rachel LaPrad

Scholastic Achievement Award – Haley Perez

Patient Care Award- Ashely Blankenship

l-r: Jennifer Hastings, CDA and Deana Billings, Executive Director of Wilkes Public Dental Clinic