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Over 1200 will graduate from Northern Essex Community College on Saturday, May 21

Submitted by on May 2, 2011 – 1:35 pm

Northern Essex Community College will hold its 49th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 21, at 11 a.m. under a white tent on the quadrangle on the Haverhill Campus, 100 Elliott St. Over 1200 graduates will receive certificates and associate degrees.

Sherriff Cousins

Massachusetts Essex County Sheriff Frank G. Cousins, Jr. will be the featured speaker. Cousins attended Northern Essex before transferring to Springfield College, where he received both a Bachelor of Arts in Human Services and a master’s in criminal justice.

He was appointed Sheriff of Essex County in 1996 by then Massachusetts Gov. William F. Weld. Two years later, in November of 1998, he was elected to his first six-year term as Sheriff of Essex County. He is responsible for managing the operations of nine facilities, a staff of 543 employees, a daily inmate population of 2000 and an annual operating budget in excess of $45 million.

“We’ve found that our graduates can relate to someone who has walked the corridors and sat in the classrooms at Northern Essex,” said Hartleb. “At a time when many are deciding what direction to take with their life, it is a reminder that anything is possible and that it is okay to dream and set high goals.”

Shannon Sheltra of West Newbury, who is graduating with an associate of science in respiratory care and high honors, has been selected to represent the class of 2011 as the student commencement speaker. The single parent of three children, Sheltra will be working as a respiratory therapist at the Spaulding North Shore Hospital in Salem, MA while pursuing a bachelor’s degree in biology premed, beginning in September. Her long term goal is to enroll in medical school and become a pediatric pulmonologist specializing in lung transplant research and genetics.

A highlight of the commencement ceremony will be the awarding of emeritus status to honor six retired college employees based on recommendations made by the college’s emeritus committee and approved by President David Hartleb. These retirees include Elaine Glennon of Peabody, professor emerita of deaf & hard of hearing cluster; Angela Guarino of Tewksbury, assistant dean emerita, academic support center (awarded posthumously); Jane Nunes of Hampton, NH, director emerita, deaf & hard of hearing services; Joseph Rizzo of Windham, NH, professor emeritus of behavioral sciences; Carol Wallace of Chelmsford, professor emerita of radiologic technology; and Dr. Elizabeth Wilcoxson of Newburyport, assistant dean emerita, humanities & social sciences.

Also performing will be the Stuart Highland Pipe Band. NECC president David F. Hartleb will preside over the ceremony.

For additional information contact Ernie Greenslade, NECC Director of Public Relations at 978-556-3862 or