As the ending of my days at Kilgore College draw near, and as I prepare to walk across the stage in Dodson Auditorium, my feelings of the last two years here are coming to a bittersweet ending.
It is hard to believe that in just 15 days, I will no longer be a student at the place that has pretty much become my second home. KC has shaped and molded me into the person I am today, and for that I am truly thankful.
It was my third day at KC, I had just left my Reporting I class when my instructor, Bettye Craddock, stopped me just before I walked into the lab. She smiled the sweetest smile and before I could even say anything, she was asking me to be the managing editor of The Flare.
I remember looking at her for a few seconds, hesitant, and before I could say yes or no, she was already convincing me. I will always remember how reassuring she was and because of that my life has never been the same.
We rarely encounter people like Bettye Craddock, but when we do they become a part of our lives forever.
Mrs. Craddock leads by example. She has set high standards and she has demanded excellence. Her compassion and understanding are heartwarming.
Before I came to KC she made a promise to “never leave me” and she has fulfilled that promise. I am honored and humbled to be one of her last editors.
I have spent countless hours in the Communications/Automotive Building completing my duties as a student and editor of The Flare. After two wonderful, stressful, fun years on staff, I am proud to have now reached the pinnacle of my newspaper career, and I could not be happier with the results. I will treasure all 41 issues forever.
My experiences at KC have taught me to create my life with vision, persistence and patience, because what I have learned so far is only a stepping stone to what lies ahead.
I have been beyond blessed to work with such talented people.
To my Flare family, I want to thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to this publication, especially on those crazy deadline days. Working with you all has given me the ability to develop ideas and find a passion for something I love to do.
God has blessed me with such an amazing college experience, and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for me in the many years to come.
Ashton Johnson is a sophomore communications major from Kilgore.