Robert Rockett and Aniya Johnson HEADWAE

HEADWAE Salutes Rockett and Johnson for Higher Ed Excellence

CCC English instructor Robert L. Rockett and sophomore Aniya Johnson were recently selected HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day - Working for Academic Excellence) recipients.

HEADWAE Salutes Rockett and Johnson for Higher Ed Excellence

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


Wed Feb 5, 2020

CCC English instructor Robert L. Rockett and sophomore Aniya Johnson were recently selected HEADWAE (Higher Education Appreciation Day - Working for Academic Excellence) recipients.

Robert L. RockettHaving taught at Coahoma Community College for almost 20 years, Rockett, a native of Coahoma, Mississippi, continues facilitating both developmental and English Composition courses while also serving as mayor of Coahoma, Mississippi.

The HEADWAE program is a recognition instituted by the Mississippi Legislature for college-level achievers. This honor goes to a deserving instructor and a student with outstanding achievement in academia. The instructor selected is one who contributes to their community and to education at their institution.

Of the recognition, Rockett says, “To be chosen, it shows that I have affected and made a difference in someone’s life.”

Rockett embarked on his teaching career at a high school in Shelby, Mississippi. His seventh and eighth-grade teacher Shirley Harris motivated him to pursue a teaching career. Additionally, his mom instilled education in him and his two sisters, who happen to be retired educators.

“She knew that education could get us where she couldn’t go,” he said.

A graduate of then Coahoma Agricultural High School and Coahoma Community College, he has become known for trying to make learning fun and relatable in the classroom. He enjoys giving back to the community that invested in him.

Rocket received his bachelor’s in English education from Alcorn State University and earned a master’s degree from Delta State University.

The former Coahoma, Mississippi, alderman had the privilege of teaching the HEADWAE student honoree, Aniya Johnson, who plans to become an attorney.

“Aniya is very intelligent, dedicated, and hard-working; she’d make a good lawyer,” Rockett said. “She’s very astute and always strives for her best.”

He believes that when one does good, like karma, it will inevitably return to them.

Aniya JohnsonAniya Johnson is a sophomore at Coahoma Community College. She hails from Jonestown, Mississippi. An alumna of Coahoma Early College High School, Johnson has been taking college courses through dual enrollment since the 11th grade. She serves as the student outreach liaison for the Student Government Association and is a member of the Alpha Omicron Pi chapter of the Phi Theta Kappa honor society.

Her noteworthy high school achievements include leading her graduating class as the valedictorian and serving as president of the Beta Club as well as Miss CECHS.

Johnson considers her personality, high moral character, determination, and her willingness to work to be distinguishable qualities. She plans to pursue her career dream of becoming a lawyer and will continue her education at an HBCU to study political science.

“I like politics; I like to talk,” said Johnson. “Then, I like to help people. So what better way to mix the three?”

Johnson is very honored and thankful that her teachers see her as a HEADWAE candidate. Having the support of her family, particularly God-fearing parents who value education, has put her long-term goals within reach.

“When you have parents who are strong in the Lord and strong in education, it’s kind of hard for me to just throw up anything,” says Johnson. “All that I am and all that I hope to be will be because of God and my parents.”

With the help of an action-prompting line from Les Brown—“In every day, there are 1,440 minutes; that means we have 1,440 daily opportunities to make a positive impact,” she works toward an overarching goal of affecting the lives of others.

As far as the need for encouragement, Johnson realizes it is best to draw from her own well.

“People do motivate me, but I had to learn that I have to motivate myself because people aren’t going to be around all of the time. If you have motivation within yourself, it’s easier to go on and continue to do what you’re doing,” she added.

The HEADWAE Program annually honors two recipients from each of 34 schools in the Mississippi Association of Colleges and Universities (MAC), comprised of both public and private institutions, with an Appreciation Day. During this day, legislative officials reward the honorees with a tour of the State Capitol, a formal recognition and an awards luncheon program, compliments of Mississippi’s corporate community. Corporate groups, political groups, and other educators will gather together to celebrate the recipients.