Panola College

February 14, 2019 - Panola found themselves in a huge hole Wednesday night at home vs Paris. Paris got off to a quick start and was up 44-23 with 4:22 left. Panola was able to make a good run to cut the lead to 50-43 at half. The Ponies found themselves down double digits again in the 2nd but started to chip away. A season high 17 3 point field goals made helped the Ponies pull out the 98-91 win.

Jeff Boyd led the way for the Ponies with 19 points and 5 rebounds. Lenell Henry added 15 points and 8 rebounds. Tariq Simmons and Tylan Dean both added 14 points. Josh Williams and Kamari Brown rounded out the double digit scorers with 12 and 11 points, respectively.

With the win, the Ponies improved to 19-7 (9-5 Region XIV) and alone in 3rd place. They return to action Saturday at 4pm as #20 Trinity Valley (9-4 Region XIV) comes to town for a pivotal conference matchup. Panola won the first matchup 84-65 on January 23.

Winners from left, Brayden Marshall, Many; Trindy Ashmore, Burkeville; Brady Simmons, Burkeville; and Kylar Tedder, Many. (Not pictured: first place winner Luke Vezquez, Logansport.)

February 13, 2019 - Texas and Louisiana high school welding students competed at Panola College on Thursday, Feb. 7. Of the 56 welders competing, three of the top five winners were from Louisiana. Tim Singletary, Panola College welding instructor, said this was one of the largest groups to attend the annual competition.

He praised the high school welding instructors for their efforts and dedication to ensure their students understand the real-world expectations, and to make sure their training meets certification standards.

“We really appreciate Trinity Rail for sending Jaime Castaneda, Rogelio G. Gomez and Erick Garcia to serve as judges this year. We agreed that this was one of the best competitions we’ve ever had,” Singletary said. “To pick the winners, the judges looked for a uniform bead, a good weld profile, and a smooth tie-in, among other criteria.”

Singletary said having industry representatives as judges provides the students with an understanding of the importance of industry expectations for performance, knowledge and skills. “Now is a great time to train for the welding profession from an economic standpoint,” Singletary added.

Finishing first was Luke Vezquez, Logansport, La.; second: Brayden Meshell, Many, La.; third: Trindy Ashmore, Burkeville; fourth: Brody Simmons, Burkeville; and fifth, Kylar Tedder, Many, La.

Prize sponsors were Ron Yandell from Matheson Tri Gas; Ron Reed from Red Ball Oxygen, Johnny Harvill from Lincoln Electric, and Keith Coleman from TDY Blacksmith. Winners were awarded a variety of personal protective gear that adds to their professional equipment to prepare them for the workforce.

From fifth place down, students finished as follows: Norman Sepulvado, Zwolle; Justin Hutchinson, Carthage; Kalob Waldrop, Ebarb; Gen Maxie, Many; Jacobo Rafael, Center; Devon Lakey, Burkeville; Eddy Lazaro, Tenaha; London Andrews, Carthage; Caleb Leach, Many; Colton Day, Burkeville; Christopher Ammons, Zwolle; Drew Fountain, Zwolle; Clayton Anderson, Carthage; Jack Mehell, Ebarb; Josh Evans, Stanley; Riley Britt, Zwolle; Logan Stripling, Douglass; Garrett Hooker, Carthage; Jordan Russell, Carthage; Bryan Cruz, Waxahachie; Trent Schroer, Douglass; Caid Hartless, Carthage; Christian Castillo, Tenaha; Felix Reina, Waxahachie; Cristian Marquez, Waxahachie; Alan Mercer, Center; Jackson Cater, Joaquin; Johnny Martinez, Waxahachie; Jonathan Gomez, Center; Devon Walters, Joaquin; Braeden Simpson, North Desoto; Hunter Sepulvado, Logansport; Chaseton Rutan, Ebarb; Kolby Stewart, Ebarb; John Meshall, Ebarb; Jesus Farias, Joaquin; Alan Trejo, Joaquin; and Ron Clemence, Ebarb.

The Panola College group met with State Representative Chris Paddie at the State Capitol.

February 11, 2019 - Panola College faculty and students visited the Texas Legislature in Austin on January 29-30 to participate in Texas Community College Day. The event was funded by a grant from the Panola College Foundation.

“This was the first time we were able to bring a full bus of students to Community College Day,” said Brian Naples, government professor and Student Government Association advisor. “The grant support from the Panola College Foundation allowed us to have a stronger presence among our East Texas regional colleges like Navarro and Trinity Valley, which regularly bring a bus of students to the rally.”

Community College Day provides students with the opportunity to meet personally with legislators and attend a legislative session. Student governments from 50 community college districts across the state convene at this event to promote legislative support for community college education.

The students met with State Representative Chris Paddie and State Senator Bryan Hughes while at the Capitol. Both legislators were able to spend time with the students, providing details of their work and answering questions.

“This activity helps students recognize the importance of citizenship and participation in local, state and federal government. It shows government in action instead of just sitting in the classroom,” Naples said.

In addition to the State Capitol, the two-day tour included tours of the Dr. Pepper Museum and the Texas Ranger Museum.

The students enjoyed a visit to the Texas Ranger Museum in Waco.

SGA sponsors Naples and Jody Harris accompanied students Jasmine Ryan, Addison Pope, Emily Robinson, Tony Jeter, Shelby Watson, Hannah Williams, Peyton Proffitt, Tailer Chong, Abigail Parish, Hannah Ramirez, Jamie Gonzalez, Yvonne Combs, Thaynara Godoi, DL Apolinario Correa, Eder Nunez, Jose Torres, Allyson Woodworth, Hailey Woodworth, Yareli Salinas, Chailey Norton, Maria Mejia, Catalina Zoyoquila, Ben Bridges, Daniel Gillis, Timothy Rushing, Michael Mize, Makayla Campbell, Erin Phillips, Adjalon Bowers, Madison Lee, Hieu Le, Bryan Whitaker, Loren Caserta, Melonie Caserta, Sheli Caserta, Taylee Caserta, Madison Davis, Cody Grindle, Kyle Smith, Madison Spence, Emma Harden, and Drew Diverdi.

February 11, 2019 - The Panola Ponies traveled to Beeville, TX to take on the Coastal Bend Cougars. The weather all weekend was chilly and at times misty, but that didn’t stop the Ponies from winning another series.

Game 1- Friday’s opener started out slow for the visiting Ponies. Coastal Bend was able to jump out to an early 3-0 start due to some defense miscues from the Ponies. That was all the Cougars would score though. Sophomore RHP Jarret Whorff (Winnsboro, TX) was able to give the Ponies 5 solid innings on the mound and gave up 0 earned runs. Whorff gave the offense a chance to get back in the game and they took it over. Cam Sibley (Dutchtown, LA), Austin Bost (Groves, TX), and Raphael LeBlanc (Quebec, Canada) all posted multiple hits and multiple RBI’s. The Ponies outscored the Cougars 11-0 after the first inning and ended up winning in a shortened game due to run-rule by a score of 11-3.

Game 2- The opening game of Saturday’s double header would be the first Panola loss of the season. Similar to the first game, Panola spotted the cougars several runs off errors and it ended up being too much for the Ponies to overcome. Starter Tyler Davis (Houston, TX) battled on the mound and gave the Ponies everything he had for 5 innings only giving 1 earned run. Bost posted another 3 hit game for Panola. The Ponies drop game 2 of the series 6-3.

Game3- Panola bounced back to take the finale of the 3 game set. Hayden Collins (Cypress, TX) got his first collegiate start on the mound and had Sophomores Zach Goree (Woden, TX) and Chris Edwards (Garrison, TX) come in behind him to shut down the Cougars. Freshman outfielder Cameron Stansbury (Groves, TX) and SO outfielder Joe Stevens (Gonzales, LA) led the way offensively each with multiple hits and multiple RBI’s. Panola won game 3 by a score of 7-3.

The Ponies moved to 8-1 on the season and will be back in Mississippi as Panola takes on Kaskaskia, Co-Lin, and Hinds in a 2 day round robin style format.

February 10, 2019 - Panola lost another heartbreaker at the buzzer at Kilgore on Saturday afternoon. After a back and forth game, Panola found themselves up 67-66 with under 20 seconds to play. Kilgore was able to hit a 3 with 2.8 seconds remaining, and the Ponies shot from half court did not come close.

Kamari Brown led the Ponies with 12 points and 4 rebounds. Tariq Simons added 11 points. Raymone Lampkin had a double double effort with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The loss drops the Ponies to 18-7 (8-5 Region XIV). They return to action Wednesday night at home vs Paris. The Ponies won at Paris 66-64 on January 16.  

February 10, 2019 - The Fillies could not complete the sweep of the Kilgore Lady Rangers Saturday in District 14 play. The Lady Rangers defeated the Fillies, 56-73, dropping the Fillies to 8-4 in conference.

Leading the Fillies in scoring was Daryna Barcharova  with 18. She shot over 50% from the floor (7-13), and shot an impressive 4-7 from beyond the arch. Following her in scoring was Alicja Falkowska with 16 points on 6-7 shooting from the floor. Mikayla Etienne and Masha Adashchyk led the fillies on the boards with 7 apiece.  

The Fillies drop to 12-10 on the season. The Fillies will remain on their road stint, facing the #2 Trinity Valley Cardinals Wednesday at 5:30 PM. The Fillies dropped the first meeting between the two, 76-72. Panola was led in scoring by Maryia Adashchyk with 20. 

Anne Stacy-Robbins discusses Music and Memory with Shelby College Center Certified Nurse Aide students at Panola College.

February 8, 2019 - Panola College Certified Nurse Aide (CNA) students are learning about the power of music to awaken memories in patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease. Anne Robbins, director of student programs for Music and Memory, presented a program about this therapy to CNA students at the Shelby College Center on Tuesday, Jan. 29.

Certified Nurse Aides provide basic care for patients and residents of long-term care facilities. Robbins told the students that Music and Memory has become more prevalent as a therapeutic technique.

“In 2014, only 56 facilities across the United States were using Music and Memory. In 2019, we have more than 6,000,” she said.

The Texas Health and Human Services Department adopted Music and Memory in 2016 as a means to reduce the use of anti-psychotic drugs for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s.

The presentation included a viewing of the documentary “Alive Inside,” which showcases the research and application of the Music and Memory approach with various individuals. According to the documentary, “Music is magic. It’s a backdoor into the mind for people with dementia. Musical memories are so strong and they activate more parts of the brain than any other.”

The documentary includes a segment about an elderly man with dementia. His response after having headphones placed that played music from his past was startling, said Betty Gruber, Panola College CNA instructor.

"I worked Long Term care for a number of years and I used every tool at my disposal to reach my residents,” Gruber said. “Music was by far the most effective tool, reaching them through all their barriers, including cognition, emotional, and behavioral barriers. Henry represents what music can do. He was in the nursing home for 10 years, mostly non-verbal. But after a personalized music list was developed for him he came back to life, opening his eyes, interacting with the staff, and with his daughter. Henry was happy again. I've seen the powerful influence music has on residents. This program will have a huge impact on the way we interact with our residents, giving us another means of interacting, and providing an alternative to anti-psychotic medications and even behavioral hospital admissions. Music is a win for everyone."

When someone posted on the social media site Reddit a short video clip of Henry’s response, the clip went viral. Thousands of people commented and shared stories about their loved ones, vowing to use personalized music to try to reach them. Media coverage of the explosion of interest in Music and Memory led to expanded understanding of its potential.

The documentary explained that over-medication limits choice and control in these patients, while music creates spontaneity and memory. Robbins said half of the residents of nursing homes get no visitors. Music and Memory’s goal is to provide personalized music as a means to evoke joy and ease their sense of isolation.

Instructor Betty Gruber, left, listens as Anne Stacy-Robbins explains the benefits of Music and Memory, while Lindsey Hines, with Interpreter Training & Consulting Services, provides interpretation for the deaf.

The Panola College CNA students will participate with Panola Nursing and Rehabilitation, Carthage Healthcare Center, Marshall Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation, Pine Grove Nursing Center and Green Acres of Center. All of these facilities are utilizing Music and Memory with their residents.

Beginning in summer 2019, Panola College Occupational Therapy Assistant students will receive volunteer certification through Music and Memory. Once trained, these OTA students will implement the program with seniors.

The OTA program is planning to use Music and Memory as part of an overall “Best Friends Project,” which will be part of the clinical rotation. Terrie King, OTA instructor and academic field work coordinator, said the “Best Friends Project” will pair OTA students with seniors living in assisted living and/or skilled nursing communities.

“We believe in ‘learning through doing’ and the best way to understand the aging process and the needs of seniors is to connect and support seniors. Our students will design and implement evidence-based therapeutic activities that have been proven to support senior wellness. Music and Memory is one of those evidence-based programs that makes a difference.”

Kelly Reed-Hirsch, Dean of Health Sciences, said she is excited to have Panola College students involved in Music and Memory. “This program will allow our students to expand their knowledge and abilities to work with individuals with dementia or other cognitive challenges. When I think about my grandmother who lived with Alzheimer’s for many years, when she heard ‘Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy’ and other music from that era, she lit up and was more like how she was before the horrible disease took her memories of us from her.”

For more information, contact Anne Stacy-Robbins, Texas Director of Student Programs, 646-856-0362, or email

February 7, 2019 - In a back and forth affair between two teams tied for first place in Region XIV, Navarro came out on top 69-68 on a banked 7 footer as time expired. The Ponies were able to take a 41-35 lead into halftime. The 2nd half was back and forth with the two teams trading the lead in the final 5 minutes. Up 1 with 5.7 seconds left to play, Panola was unable to get the ball in bounds. Navarro then ran an isolation play, and Trey Pulliam was able to knock down the shot to win it for Navarro.

Kamari Brown led the Ponies with 16 points and 4 rebounds off the bench. Jeff Boyd and Tariq Simmons both added 13 points, while Lenell Henry added a double double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. The loss drops the Ponies to 18-6 and 8-4 in Region XIV play. They travel to play Kilgore on Saturday afternoon at 4pm.

February 7, 2019 - Balance scoring and solid defense was in full effect for the Fillies in their 60-49 win against Blinn. The Fillies took care of business on the defense end in the second and third quarters, holding Blinn to just 18 combined points. Kellymar Ramirez, Jolie Williams and Masha Adashchyk each recorded 3 steals in the contest.

On the offensive end, 3 Fillies finished in double figures, led by Williams who had 14. Adashchyk and Barchkarova both contributed 10 apiece. The scoring was balanced thanks to 17 total assists in the contest. Both Mikayla Etienne and Alicja Falkowska dished out 4 each. Leading the team on the boards with 6 was both Adashchyk and Nyidier Riak.

On Wednesday, balance scoring and consistent offense was the difference maker in the Fillies 71-56 win over the Paris Junior College Dragons. Fillies put together two similar offensive quarters, scoring 37 in the first quarter, and 34 in the second. The Fillies complimented their offense on the defensive end, holding the Dragons to a 23-point first half.

The Fillies saw double figures from four players, led by a season-high 18 points performance for Etinene. Etienne shot a team-best 6-7 from the floor. She also shot 6-7 from the charity stripe. Williams (11), Riak (11) and Falkowska (10) finished in double figures as well. Barchkarova led the team in rebounding with eight.

The Fillies (12-9, 8-3 in conference) continue their road stint as they head to Kilgore Saturday. In the first match up between the two, the Fillies overcame a 19-point first half deficit and came out with the 76-73 victory in Carthage. Game time is set for 2pm. 

February 5, 2019 - Panola College has implemented an Academic Support Lab with professors and peers working as tutors to provide additional instruction for development of reading, writing, and mathematics skills. Supplemental funding for the lab is provided through a grant from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. The grant targets corequisite instruction that helps students become TSI complete, a designation that signifies college readiness. Under the new corequisite initiative, students take developmental math or English along with the college-level academic math or English included in core curriculum requirements.

“We expanded corequisite instruction for English and math in fall 2018,” explains Teresa Brooks, Dean of Distance Learning and Chair of Preparatory Studies at Panola College. “As a result, we saw an increase in the number of students who completed their required developmental courses – but for the first time, a significant percentage of the students also completed college-level English or math courses.”

In the past, students who were not TSI complete were blocked from academic level math and English until they successfully completed developmental courses. Depending on the students’ progress through the developmental sequence, these required courses could delay completion of the associate degree.

“We are pleased with this new approach because it puts students on track to finish their degree plans on schedule, and saves time and money,” Brooks said.

Through the corequisite program, professors staff the Academic Support Lab and are available to students five days a week for reading, writing, and mathematics skills.

Tutoring is nothing new to Panola College. Students have had access to free tutoring in all subjects, including career and technical subjects, through the Student Success office for years, according to Don Clinton, Vice President of Student Success.

“We ask professors to identify and nominate peer tutors who can be available on an as-needed basis throughout the semester. Sometimes students are reluctant to ask for help, but we are making an effort to let them know we are here to help them be successful at Panola.”

Peer tutors are paid, and are not required to qualify for Work Study federal funding, which is needs-based funding.

“Peer tutors say that by teaching the concepts of math and English to others, they find that the process reinforces their own mastery of the material. They aren’t just teaching and tutoring – it’s more of a collaborative learning experience. Research has also shown that some students are more comfortable being tutored by other students,” he added.

Tutoring opportunities range from face-to-face sessions in a computer lab to online Zoom conferences. Face-to-face sessions are offered on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons at the Marshall College Center. The online Zoom sessions make tutoring available to students who are studying at home.

For more information, contact Teresa Brooks,, 903-693-2060 or Don Clinton,, 903-693-2055.