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Barrett selected to receive PTK’s Paragon President Award

Barrett selected to receive PTK’s Paragon President Award

JACKSON, Miss. – The Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) honor society will recognize 20 college presidents across the country with its Paragon President Award during PTK Catalyst 2022, the Society’s annual convention this spring in Denver, Colo. Leah Barrett, president of Northeast Community College, is among the honorees.

To be eligible for the award, college presidents and CEOs are new in their role having served less than three years in their positions. Recipients are nominated by students on their campuses and are only eligible to receive the award once. The 20 recipients were selected from among 426 college presidents, chancellors, and CEOs eligible to receive the award.

The award recognizes college leaders who have shown support of student success initiatives leading to stronger pathways to completion, transfer, and employment. They have taken an active interest in supporting high-achieving students and developing student leaders on campus.

“These college presidents have students-first leadership styles and have made it a priority to keep students engaged throughout the pandemic,” said Lynn Tincher-Ladner, president and CEO of Phi Theta Kappa. “Their nomination is evidence of the gratitude their PTK students feel for supporting them and students like them—even during the most difficult times.”

Barrett began serving as president of Northeast Community College in 2020. She is humbled by the recognition.

“It is an honor to be recognized by our students,” she said.

Phi Theta Kappa is the premier honor society recognizing the academic achievement of students at associate degree-granting colleges; helping them to grow as scholars and leaders. The society is made up
of more than 3.8 million members and nearly 1,300 chapters in 11 countries, with approximately 240,000 active members in the nation’s colleges.

Barrett was nominated by members of Northeast’s PTK Tau Chi Chapter. Each year, the chapter inducts new members into the society. Since 1996, approximately 3,300 Northeast students have been inducted into the international academic honor society for two-year colleges.

Other 2022 recipients of the Paragon President Award are: Kenya Ayers-Palmore (Tarrant County College, Tex.); Linda Braddy (Dallas College, Tex.); Anthony Cruz (Miami Dade College, Fla.); Karin Edwards (Clark College, Wash.); Julie Fickas (St. Louis Community College, Mo.); Eric Friedman (Bergen Community College, N.J.); Michael Geoghegan (Eastern Gateway Community College, Ohio); Tracy Hartzler (Central New Mexico Community College, N.M.); Aaron Knight (San Jacinto College, Tex.); and Amber Knoettgen (Cloud County Community College, Kan.).

The list also includes Nelson Kraft (Georgia Military College, Ga.); Ann Lawler (Scott Community College, Iowa); Marjorie McGuire-Welch (Southwestern Community College, Iowa); Stacey Moore (York Technical College, S.C.); Feleccia Moore-Davis (St. Louis Community College, Mo.); Mary Reese (Suffolk County Community College, N.Y.); Ryan Ruda (Garden City Community College, Kan.); Janet Spriggs (Forsyth Technical Community College, N.C.); and Tim Taylor (Shawnee Community College, Ill.).

To learn more about PTK, go online to