Bluegrass Community and Technical College established the Alumni Hall of Distinction in 2017 to honor the extraordinary contributions made by our former students. In 2019, four individuals were recognized at the Celebration of Generosity and Achievement. Each has distinguished themselves by their years of service to their profession, their community, BCTC, and its foundation.
These honorees represent the best of our community and by celebrating them; we honor and recognize the many individuals who have enrolled in BCTC or its predecessor institutions.
We are proud to recognize the following members of the 2019 class of the BCTC Alumni Hall of Distinction.
Lexington Community College, 1987
Associate of Applied Science, Nursing
Professor Holroyd was originally from Selma, Alabama. With the help of Ruth Newman, her Choral teacher, she was awarded a music scholarship at Peabody College in Nashville. She worked in the cafeteria to cover her remaining expenses.
After graduating from Peabody, she returned to Alabama to teach chorus and band in Tuscumbia where she was one of only two women band directors. She also taught Choral music in Tuscaloosa until she left to study music at Columbia University.
She began her collegiate teaching at the Women’s College of the University of North Carolina. After seven years, she continued her education at Indiana University concentrating on music education and voice.
Her career journey led her to the University of Kentucky where she was one of a few women Choral conductors at a major universities in the United State. Professor Holroyd held the position of Director of Choral Activities where she taught music education, and conducted The Madrigal Singers, The Women’s Glee Club, The University Chorus, The University Choristers, and The University Chorale from 1961-1987. Sara was a trailblazer in both high school and collegiate conducting.
In 1987, she retired from the University of Kentucky at the age of 62 and enrolled in the nursing program at the Lexington Community College. After receiving her nursing degree, she became a nurse in the St. Joseph Hospital Emergency Department on the second shift. She worked in the Emergency Department until her retirement again at age 71.
Sara was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Kentucky in 2017.
Lexington Technical Institute, 1988
Architecture and Building Technology
Jimmy Nash attended Lexington Technical Institute and studied Architectural Technology. A third-generation builder, he started Jimmy Nash Homes in 1990 and, for over 25 years, has been building beautiful custom homes in Central Kentucky.
The company offers interior design services with every new home and pays close attention to energy efficiency, putting each home through a HERS (Home Energy Rating Standard) process.
Jimmy Nash Homes is consistently recognized during the Grand Tour of Homes sponsored by the Building Industry Association of Central Kentucky (BIA). In 2018, they won first-place prizes within all eight categories: Curb Appeal, Landscaping, Kitchen, Master Suite, Floor Plan, Interior Features, Interior Lighting and Overall Appeal. The firm has also won the Best of Houzz awards every year since 2014.
Jimmy has been a long serving member of the BCTC Architectural Technology program advisory committee. He has provided practicum and co-op placements for students and has even hired several to work for his company. Jimmy Nash has invited architectural technology students to tour several of his homes, given presentations to classes, and provided funding to help offset cost of their annual trip to Chicago. Jimmy Nash served on the BCTC Foundation Board of Directors from 2006 to 2017.
Lexington Community College, 1990
Associate of Science
Ed L. Thompson, Jr. began his career with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in 1987 as a Student Trainee in 1988. He obtained an associate in science degree from Lexington Community College (LCC), now known as Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC). Mr. Thompson initially enrolled at the University of Kentucky (UK), but quickly transferred to LCC to complete his basic undergraduate studies. He later transferred back to UK and received a Bachelor of Science degree in agronomy in 1993.
During his 28 years with the USDA, Mr. Thompson has served as a technical professional with the NRCS, and is currently a program manager with the USDA Office of Partnerships and Public Engagement. Mr. Thompson is responsible for student recruitment and retention in the fields of agriculture science and technology, and as a liaison for services to individuals and groups through USDA and the 1890 Land Grant Program. He also administers the USDA 1890 National Scholars Program, and is responsible for coordinating all USDA outreach programs within the state of Kentucky. He uses his previous experiences to work with students, faculty and staff in preparing graduates for employment with the USDA and private sector agricultural based industries.
Mr. Thompson attributes completing a college degree to choosing the right environment. “LCC let me focus on pursuing my degree while allowing me to juggle my part-time career with USDA. The small classroom setting prepared me to transfer to a larger institution setting.”
Lexington Technical Institute, 1981
Associate of Applied Science, Dental Hygiene
Dr. Teela J. Watts became interested in dentistry during high school in Owensboro, Kentucky. She received her Associates in Applied Science degree in dental hygiene from Lexington Technical Institute where she graduated with honors in 1981.
After getting married and practicing as a dental hygienist in the area for five years, she enrolled in the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in 1986. She gave birth to her daughter during her first year of dental school and that year with the number one rank in her class of fifty-two students. She received a scholarship to provide support during her second year. During that second year, Teela Watts lost most of her personal belongings in a house fire, but despite this, still finished with the number one ranking again. Ultimately, she graduated with high distinction.
Dr. Watts opened her own dental practice in Versailles, Kentucky. She has raised three beautiful children and has been active in her community and church. Professionally, she has served on the Woodford Co. Board of Health as Dental Advisory for four years and on the BCTC Dental Hygiene Advisory Board since 2009.
Dr. Watts shared that, “Dentistry has been a very gratifying, successful, and rewarding career for me and I could not imagine any other career where I could have helped more people.”
Please help us identify an outstanding candidates who have achieved outstanding success and made a lasting impact on their community.
Nominations must be received by November 1, 2019 to be considered. You may submit up to four additional pages of documentation. You are not expected to provide comprehensive information; the nominee will be asked to submit a separate form detailing their accomplishments.
Candidates must have completed a minimum of two semesters at Bluegrass Community and Technical College or one of its preceding institutions (Central Kentucky State Vocational School, Lexington Community College, Lexington Technical Institute), demonstrated achievement in their profession or business, provided service in their community and added value to BCTC and/or its Foundation.
Diversity of candidates is welcomed and encouraged. Persons running for political office will not be considered during their active campaign period. Posthumous nominations will not be considered.
Following receipt of a completed form, we will contact the nominee and request they complete a Candidate Information Questionnaire that indicates their willingness to participate in the selection process. The Alumni Hall of Distinction Selection Committee then meets to consider each nominee. When final selections are, we personally notify the nominees who will be honored.
The selection committee will consider each individual based on categories that include, but are not limited to, those listed below. All nominations are encouraged. The selection committee recognizes the nominees may not have significant accomplishments in all categories.
We are proud to recognize the following members of the inaugural class of the BCTC Alumni Hall of Distinction.
|Claudia Carroll, RN, PHR|
|Dr. Francis O'Hara,EdD|
|Dr. Karen S. Hill, RN, DNP, NEA-BC, FACHE, FAAN|
|Rep. Susan Westrom|