Employees of the Month for October 2018

CTE Employees Gray, Butler Recognized for an Exceptional Job

Commercial Truck Technology instructor Solomon Gray, Sr. has been with Coahoma Community College for only a year and a half but has been doing an exceptional job training up his students to be professional truck drivers.

Butler teaches an Orientation class online at CCC and is also a certified trainer for the Childcare Licensure Division of the Mississippi Department of Health.

CTE Employees Gray, Butler Recognized for an Exceptional Job

Press Release from Coahoma Community College Public Relations; (662) 621-4057 - Melody Dixon

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Thu Oct 11, 2018

Solomon Gray

Commercial Truck Technology instructor Solomon Gray, Sr. has been with Coahoma Community College for only a year and a half but has been doing an exceptional job training up his students to be professional truck drivers.

“Commercial Driving is a very rewarding career that is in great demand,” says Gray. “The course offered here is very demanding and requires a great deal of effort from all involved.”

Gray is the proud father of four children, three young men and one young lady. A native of Clarksdale and an alumnus of Coahoma Community College, he credits fatherhood for the growth that has shaped him into the person he presently is.

What he mostly enjoys about his profession is teaching the profession of truck driving to those with an interest in it.

Seeing students’ facial expressions of nervousness and fear on the first day of class transform into an aura of confidence upon completion of the program drives him to continue preparing college students for safe truck driving.

“Knowing that I played a part in the process is very rewarding,” Gray said. “My motivation comes from knowing that I am helping someone become a better man or woman by providing them with a skill that could launch into a career in Commercial Driving/Logistics.”

Gray draws inspiration from an old Chinese proverb by Confucius that says, ‘Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you’ve fed him for a lifetime.’

Gray particularly likes the work environment here at Coahoma. The way CCC supports its educational programs is an impressive characteristic he has noticed about the school.

Tolernisa Butler

Tolernesia Butler

14-year Career-Tech counselor Tolernisa Butler is a first generation college graduate. One of six children, she came from an upbringing that didn’t deem schooling important.

“I had a friend; she mentored me and helped me along the way on an educational level,” said Butler. “I am still amazed how far God has brought me on this journey.”

Butler is wife to Earnest Butler, Sr. and together they have three children, Rayquotez, Rayverlin and Earnest, Jr. A Shelby, Mississippi native, she is a three-time graduate of Delta State University with two specialist degrees in counselor education and administration.

Surprisingly, she has never viewed herself as being “the best.”

“I’ve not thought about being a candidate for Employee of the Month,” she said. “I knew that candidates were being selected, but it wasn’t a frame of thought. After I was told, I thought, ‘Hmmm, that is really cool.’”

Butler teaches an Orientation class online at CCC and is also a certified trainer for the Childcare Licensure Division of the Mississippi Department of Health. She believes education is worth investing.

“Gas and money are always going to be issues. Financial difficulties may always be issues, but education can be the key out of poverty,” she said.

The most valuable aspect of Butler’s occupation is that it gives her the opportunity to render services to others. She considers it rewarding to foster the proper emotional, social, academic and career development of students.

“I truly love my job,” she expressed. “It gives me great joy to invest in the future of so many students. I find it vital as a counselor to be an integral part in their lives.”

Certain situations throughout Butler’s adult life have taught her to be compassionate and empathetic. Overall, she has had an unforgettable experience.

“During my tenure, my mom decided to return to Coahoma to earn her Associate of Applied Science degree in early childhood education,” she said, noting that her mom was 48 years old when she enrolled again. “She died two years after earning her degree, but I was most proud of her for reaching that achievement.”

Butler gives back by carrying out the duties of her job to the best of her ability so that others will pay it forward. One distinction that sets Coahoma apart from other institutions is that it promotes relationship-building.

“I love that Coahoma provides a positive work-student climate,” said Butler, who began her college career at Coahoma in hopes of becoming an educator. “No one but God knows what the future holds! I am a product of Coahoma! I say that with pride!”