Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2015

Nearly 70 students from Virginia’s Community Colleges were honored Wednesday for their commitment to academic excellence and public service.

Michael Haynes

Michael Haynes

In his welcoming remarks, VCCS Chancellor Glenn DuBois told the students the grades they’ve earned are real. “But your commitment to public service is what makes you a leader.”

After receiving a rousing pep talk from Virginia’s Secretary of Education Anne Holton, the event took on somewhat of an Olympic Games-like atmosphere – the students were each presented with gold medals in recognition of their achievement.

Among the team’s Top Ten students this year was Michael Haynes from Lord Fairfax Community College. At 51, Haynes readily acknowledges that he’s a non-traditional student. He began his career as a painting contractor but an accident left him hobbled and unable to work on his feet. That’s when he decided it was time to further his education. But not without some trepidation.

“I knew that if I was going to make a career change, I needed affordability. That’s why I chose Lord Fairfax.”

In addition to being named to Virginia’s All-Academic Team, Haynes was also designated as a Bronze Scholar by the Coca-Cola Foundation, one of only 50 students nationwide to be so honored.

“I didn’t go back to college to earn all these things. I’ve always believed in hard work. But, it’s nice to be recognized. I won’t lie to you.”

Haynes, who currently maintains a 3.94 GPA, has an associate degree in Information Systems Technology and plans to transfer to George Mason University and ultimately pursue a career in cybersecurity.

A list of the 2015 PTK Top Ten All-Virginia Academic Team members and their respective colleges appears in the table below:




Kirstin Gray

Eastern Shore

Brianna DiSanza


Michael Haynes

Lord Fairfax

Victoria Lu

Lord Fairfax

Shane Haupt

New River

Allan Edzil

Northern Virginia

Amanuel Eshete

Northern Virginia

Adam John

Northern Virginia

Isabela Lopes

Northern Virginia

Charlotte Barstow

Piedmont Virginia'

Craig Butterworth

A native of Richmond, Craig Butterworth is an award-winning broadcast journalist and communications professional. He has worked as a spokesperson, staff writer and editor for a variety of non-profit and for-profit organizations throughout the Richmond area.

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