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Bernita Hill Receives a Much Deserving Honorary Associate Degree

Recently the Fort Scott Community College Board of Trustees awarded Fort Scott Presbyterian Village resident Bernita Hill with a prestigious “Honorary Associate Degree” for her generous support of students’ success.

Bernita taught English and Journalism at Fort Scott Community College for 30 years. Her work also included the college newspaper and yearbook, as well as General and Developmental Psychology.  

As a faculty member, she often carried a full load of teaching because so many students requested her.  She was not an “Easy A” kind of teacher. Rather, she had a knack for making students “want” to learn.  

Bernita built a deep connection with many students over the years. Today, many of those students remain in touch with her through weekly emails, phone calls and personal visits, though some of her former students are now retired, as well.  

Her success is visible in the many lives of those she connected with over her career. One such student is our very own Ginger Nance.  

“When I tip-toed into my first class, as a non-traditional student and mother of two children at 19 years old at FSCC, I didn’t think I could do college work,” Ginger recalls. “I was so emotionally down at that time in my life that I wasn’t sure if college was something I was even capable of. Within my first week in Bernita’s class, not only did I begin to think maybe I can be a college student, I was already dreaming of plans to graduate one day with a master’s degree.”

That dream became a reality years later while raising her family.  During those challenging years, Bernita continued to check in on Ginger and many of her other former students with encouragement and inspiration to cheer them on.

Bernita’s influence in the community is vast. Many would agree that she is a bright light that shines because she is quick to tell people how much she believes in them. Bernita has lived her life with a servant’s heart and devoted faith, which she believes is what guides her every day.  

Thank you, Bernita for all you do for your students, young and old, and the difference you continue to make in other’s lives.  The honorary associate degree, which you were awarded, is well earned!

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