Nunez Welcomes First Alum Commencement Speaker at 32nd Commencement Ceremony (2024)

Nunez Welcomes First Alum Commencement Speaker at 32nd Commencement Ceremony (1)

Nunez Community College celebrated 387 graduates May 16 at the Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette during the college’s 32nd Commencement Ceremony.

This year’s ceremony marked the first time that a Nunez alum served as commencement speaker as celebrity chef, author and 2014 Nunez Culinary graduate Chef Toya Boudy addressed graduates and guests.

Chef Toya is a New Orleans native who has appeared on television on CBS, NBC’s Today Show, Guy’s Grocery Games, TLC, Food Network, and was crowned Best Home Cook by Hallmark’s Home & Family in 2017. In addition to her TV appearances, Chef Toya has released two cookbooks: 2017’s Cook Like a New Orleanian, and Cooking for the Culture: Recipes & Stories from the Streets of New Orleans to the Table in 2023.

Chef Toya was named one of Louisiana’s Best Chefs in 2018 and 2019 by the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans. She is also known for her YouTube channel, Cooking with Toya Boudy, which has attracted 24,000 subscribers, and her podcast The 5 Senses.

“There’s something special about Nunez. It’s a rare environment,” Chef Toya told the graduating class. “People are here because they want to be here. And that energy is what made me comfortable.”

She recalled the role that longtime Nunez Culinary Instructor Chef Ruth Varisco played in shepherding her through turbulence during her time in college, having left Nunez and returned multiple times due to various challenges.

“I especially want to thank you for telling me the truth that last time I dropped out,” she said addressing Chef Ruth. “She didn’t even look directly at me. Like a New Orleanian mother she looked from the side of her eye and she said ‘One day you’re going to have to put little girl Toya away for good,’ and then she kept grading papers.

“And I just said ‘okay.’ And it was the heaviest okay I ever had to sit with. But years later I put little girl Toya to rest and came back and finished school.”

Among the assembled graduates listening to Chef Toya’s remarks were Nunez’s youngest 2024 graduate at 16 years old, and the oldest at 64.

Graduates hailed from 45 cities in 3 states, including Kevin Yanez Orellana of Braithwaite, who graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Nunez’s class of ’24 also included 166 Dual Enrolled students who received a college credential in the same month they graduated high school, and 10 Adult Education students receiving their high school equivalency diplomas.

During the ceremony, Nunez 2023 Excellence In Teaching Award winner Dr. Alaa Khalil announced Kathleen Huff, Program Director for the Care and Development of Young Children and Teaching: Grades 1-5 programs, as the winner of the 2024 Excellence In Teaching Award, which is accompanied by the Lamarque Endowed Professorship.

The Excellence In Teaching Award nominees are selected each Spring by the Nunez faculty, and the winner is chosen by the Excellence In Teaching Committee.

“I remember a couple of years ago when I thought maybe I was getting a little old to still be here. And I was told, if I can still do what I need to do, it is perfectly okay,” said Huff. “So I want to challenge all the graduates, whatever age you are, you keep going. Next week I turn 72, and I still got it!”

Huff’s fellow nominees for the 2024 Excellence In Teaching Award included Brittney Zaffuto, Director of the Practical Nursing program, and Duane Jardine, Interim Program Chair of the Aerospace Manufacturing Technology program.

Registration is currently open at Nunez for the Summer 2024 and Summer Mini Session A terms, with classes scheduled to begin June 3. Registration is also open for the Fall 2024 semester, with classes beginning Aug. 20.

View available classes for all of the above terms at Assistance applying and registering for classes is available from our Student Success Team at

Nunez graduates for 2024 are listed below by hometown:

Charles Guidry II

David Marlon Alvarez
Sierra Leolen Bargky
Breiana C. Braxton
Beatrice Rose Cage
Esmeralda Jaylene Esparza
Marcela Estrada
Jared James Lachney
Kayla L Courtney Mann
Michael Martin Jr.
L'Oreal Yvette Parker
Kaitlyn Mae Schlumbrecht

Ra'Shanda Bailey

Baton Rouge
Aidan Lambert

Bay Saint Louis, Miss.
Temple T. Chriss
Tyler Gomillion

Belle Chasse
Tristian Adams
Jade L. Arenales
Seth R. Billingsley
Kelsey M. Dayton
Eric Dobson
Vincent Keith Drake, Sr.
Reese J. Espenan
Cole J. Foret
Daxton C. Hemming
Jace P. Jones
Blair Bryan O'Keeffe
Jonathan J. Penisson
Jordan Rampon
Colby Stubbs
Alex J. Tate
Tyler P. Tauzin

Jalissa Marie Young

Jamiya Denise Addison
Kalan D. Bush
Shamanda Lenise Davis
Jaylon G. Sino
Kevin Cecilio Yanez Orellana

Emmitt L. Brooks, Jr.
Darren B. Fontaine, II

Ryan Christopher Abadie
Brenny J. Aleman Fonseca
Bayan Abdul Altayeb
Glen A. Alvarez
Yasmyn V. Ancalade
Neyri Ayala
Jordan A. Bartholomew
Kayla Laurrin Bartholomew
Russell J. Beaty, Jr.
Jacob C. Bell
Alex L. Blanchard
Landyn Blanchard
Garrett Lee Brown
Dylan C. Bryan
Brayen E. Canas
Madison Andrew Chambers
Ashleigh Ann Chiek
Jesse Ray5 Cochrane
Estelle N. Conners
Salma J. Darawsheh
Shirley Renee Doggett
Candice R. Edwards
Brandon A. Enclarde
Dionnel Evans
Jeremy M. Forvendel
Alaina Michelle Francingues
Cristhian Rene Garcia Espinal
Thomas Gaspard
Hasan H. Ghanim
Tylor P. Glassman
Hailey Ann Gonzales
Trent Gonzales
Denita Danielle Hawkins
Kevin Timothy Hubble
Bethany Humphries
Gavin J. Imbornone
Brandon L. Jackson
Evan J. Jacob
Sean Xavier Jacobs
Simon Frances Jesusa
Jorge Christian Lee Jimenez
Dairon A. Joaquin Alfaro
Jacob J. Johnson
Stevenisha Journee
Kelsey Juan
Cain M. Landry
Kelsey L. Laris
Raymond C. Lubrano, III
Akevion Micheal Lucien
Darryl Andrade Mancinares
Bayron Matos
Tayah M. Mcnab
Leindre Moore
Taniell Nelson
Bao Nguyen
Daniel T. Nguyen
Nathan H. Nguyen
Michelle Anne Payton
Brant L. Peterson
Kassidy Lee Potter
Sabrina Rachel Powers
Gregg B. Prater, Jr.
Richard C. Quiroz
Hunter J. Retif
Justin Daryl Ritchie
Ricky Mckayle Robin
Tyler B. Rushing
Kenneth J. Sanchez
Sergio Alejandro Sanchez Miranda
Vickie Santalucito
Crystal Schaub
Quinten A. Shelling
Daniel Joseph Sherlock
Brandon Shipley
Lyric Lashee' Smith
Brandon L. Steward
Hadeel Tamimi
Nashaun D. Thomas
Kyle A. Vicknair
Jonathan Alan White
Corey Micheal Williams
Tayla L. Wilson

Cleo Catherine Estopinal
Bradley Fields
Samuel Jacob Ridge

Des Allemands
Landon Micheal Cortez

Lani Lemann

Karlyn A. Favorite

Noah Detillier

Logan R. Coley

Greenwell Springs
Ronald Wilson III

Maxwell E. Agee
Tondranette Ross Brown
Terra Lynndajah Coffil
Sanyika C. Farrar
Renan Gabriel
Cayla Green
Tia Chenzira Hubert
Kenetria Kierra Jackson
Dominique Jean
Candice Johnson
Warren Kelly, III
Darrielle Odoms
Zelika Ahoua Ouattara
Magnolitha Pierre
Eric St Romain, Sr.
Jada Ventris
Mya Christie Williams

Keyanna Shontrell Cobb
Elroy Trent Duncan
Derrick Encalade
Jessica Danielle Gaudet
Ashley Angel Santiago
Percy James Saul
Hermanese Walker
Deztanee's Secret Ward

Christiana Ceann Dickerson
Jamie Everson
Jonathan Glover Jr.
Joseph Poon
Tarocheann Sterling

Eli Wrangler Woodard

La Place
Courtney E. Billiot

Julian Chapman

Brock Adams

Ryan C. Rivers
Jakob Scott Spencer

Alexander R. Roux
Andre Rene Roux

Irlenys B. Ayala
Chase Edwin Cunningham
Samantha M. Dendy
Ashely Elizabeth Foret
Trey Green
Niki Kondylis
Kiante Tia Symone McCollum
Amron G. Pimentel
Tyler Rhodes

David Leo Balser Jr.
Nicholas A. Bayhi
Hayden J. Blum
Reiss P. Bowen
Jasmine Bradley
Ty'sha M. Bryant
Leopold Vincent Fischer
Joshua P. Gerrick
Scott Anthony Grimaldi
Colin P. Huff
Shawn Edward Kelt
Konner E. Landry
Donovan J. Martin
Brock William Plaiscia
Leini Elizabeth Spears
Landon S. Stasney
George E. Wehrlin IV
Austin H. Wheaton
Victor Joseph White Jr.

Ira Conrad Austin
Jasmine Michelle Brinker
Rechelle Butler
Steven J. Darby
Aidan Christian Davis
Megan Dubuc
Mark N. Giacontiere Jr.
Cullen A. Johnson
Raymond John Johnson III
Logan LeJeune
Kyle Noel LeRouge
Qiliang Liu
Josh Sullivan
Travis Thiel
Kaci Ward

New Orleans
Nathan Albert II
Frank Bartholomew Sr.
Ashton Christopher Bates
Taylor Bendeck
Derrick J. Brocks II
Leslie Lynell Castro
Cameron N. Claude
Jalaya Dotson
Thomas Dozier
Sierra Fairley
Megan K. Forbes
Joseph Michael Garrison
Emily Kay Gaudreau
Brittney George
Brandon M. Gibson
Mike'Kael Ro'Shea Gilmore
James Goodall
Alnesha Marie Greenberry
Alexus Greer
Briana Griffin
Melvin Hamilton Jr.
Benard Harris
Brione Harris
Kyle C. Harris
Nattassia Lechelle Hawthorne-Binalla
Nicholas Michael Herbert Jr.
Asha Briyante Holmes
August Christian Homrighausen
Sheila A. Howard
Stacey Polk Hurley
Jasmine Germaine Jackson
Mark Douglas Johnson
Michael J. Joseph
Rochelle Beatrice Lawrence
Adrian Tre LeBlanc
Brandy Livas
Cristian Martinez
Kierra B. Mash
Azizi Raheen Mathews
Cyntrell Mcdonald
Brittany Mikia Mitchell
Stephen Fuller Neeley
Trieu Nguyen
Keiondra Norman
Matthew J. Parker
Kirsten Pate
Fransheska Pena De La Cruz
Cody Petrovich
Thuy Phan
Ronnie Phillips
Ronjae Pleasant
Jacques Robichaux Jr.
Janae J. Sanson
Robert L. Savage Jr.
Caleb Keenen Simon
Cristy Lillian Smith
Lymonique Stevenson P. Landry
Thomas Charles Sutherland
Troy Taylor
Kentrell Patricia Thomas
Kevin Fitzgerald Thomas Sr.
Arlo Soffer Townsley
John Hans Tsai
Rodshanda C. Turner
Dominisha Walker
Jade Taylor Warren
Tarase T. White
Ahmad Williams
Lakisa Monique Williams
Alaina M. Young

Picayune, Miss.
Myles Quincy Agee
Ishicia Marie Russell
Vincent Josiah Stallings

Tosha M. Evans

Port Sulphur
Gavin M. Dinette
Erin Michelle Leboeuf

River Ridge
James P. Bendeck

Kevin Paul Addison
Crystal Danielle Allen
Rayshal Dewansha Badon
Kristina Michelle Binney
Bryson W. Brown
Matthew Tyler Busbee
Brittany Chambers
Hannah Kyleigh Chuter
Rajon' Copelin
Johnny Jahir Cubas-viera
Redic C. Davis
Colby Gerard Dowden
Kesslar J. Beverly
Tiara L. Expose
Jose Manuel Galvez Jr.
Kailey Gillen
Sondra Elizabeth Groby
Marcus A. Hempfling
Megan Marie Holmes
Ryan M. Johnson
Gabriela N. Juarez
Wendy M. Keller
Tierny Legier
Victoria Martin
Tristyn Lori Matte
Sidney Malik Mcmillan
Robert Monnier-Quick
Bianca Maria Morris
Michelle Goubler Palmer
Kendranika Shanell Phillips
Demaris C. Pierce
Jaron A. Robinson
Benjamin Kaiser Runnels
Callie Reagan Sigsworth
Shantel Renee Smith
Shantell S. Stewart
Caleb Stiegler
Alicia Marie Terre
Abbie Thibodeaux
Jessica Lesette Thomas
Shantell M. Tiffith
Megan M. Troyani
Dominic Veals
Tyler Joseph Veron
Sarah Verret
Emilie Elizabeth Vidrine
Meagan Black White
Brent Williams
Iria Dmeesheya Williams

St. Bernard
Ashley Adams
Kennedy Asevado
Reggie Bergeron
William M. Bertoniere
David P. Deselles Jr.
Kevin N. Evans
Colby M. Gilchrist
Caden P. Guerra
Brady I. Nunez
Yovanny Ramirez Mancilla
Daniel T. Randazzo
Hayden M. Tregle
Kris A. Matute Torres
Victoria Mira
Emily N. Muller
Ethan Gregory Phelps
Brooke Nikolle Ricouard
Joseph Anthony Ricouard
Eves J. Savoie
Michael E. Winesberry Jr.
Caleb Joseph Young

St. Martinville
Dorien Jackson

Tomball, Texas
Tashell D. Parks

Alexandria S. Aisola
MacKenzie Aryn Bonvillian
Laurence Bright Jr.
Julio Cabrera III
Devan Dale
Phil Dees Jr.
Austin Elisar
Ronald P. Eschete III
Bridget Marie Evans
Kristy Lynn De Franza
Colby R. Guerra Jr.
Joseph Landix
Andon Steven Long
Shane M. McCarthy
Barry T. Ramirez Jr.
Mariah W. Ranko
Ashley Elizabeth Rodriguez
Jamie Corine Sino
Leon E. Swindler V
Callie Rose Topey
Tiara Janae Tyler
Demetria Montrice Williams
Tanya Josette Williams

Casey J. Bryant

Zabrelle L. Nicholas

Amare Jamal Bailey

About Nunez Community College
Nunez Community College is a student-centered institution that delivers relevant and innovative curriculum integrating the arts, sciences, and humanities leading to academic credentials and workforce opportunities. Nunez serves a vital role in the community by engaging with partners to support student success and personal growth. Nunez Community College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates. Degree-granting institutions also may offer credentials such as certificates and diplomas at approved degree levels. Questions about the accreditation of Nunez Community College may be directed in writing to the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, GA 30033-4097, by calling (404) 679-4500, or by using information available on SACSCOC’s website ( Nunez is located at 3710 Paris Road, Chalmette, LA. For more information, visit

Nunez Welcomes First Alum Commencement Speaker at 32nd Commencement Ceremony (2024)


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