Mother and Daughter Among William Woods Graduates

A mother and daughter will be among the graduates marching down the aisle to “Pomp and Circumstance” when William Woods University holds its winter commencement Dec. 8.


Debbie Schick of Mexico, Mo., will receive a bachelor of science, while her daughter, Mandy, will receive a master of education (M.Ed.) in athletics/activities administration.


Mandy, who now lives in Columbia, already received one WWU degree—a bachelor of science in communications in 2003. After completing all her M.Ed. requirements, she was eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies again in August, but she postponed this graduation to walk with her mother.


“I’m very excited for both of us and very proud of both of us,” Debbie said. “It’s a special time for the whole family, and it’s very special for me as a Mom that we can share this time and share our achievements.”


Debbie is office and LEAD coordinator for the Office of Community Life at William Woods and Mandy is a certified personal trainer at Gold’s Gym in Columbia.


The commencement speaker is Thomas W. Quinn, an administrator with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE). Quinn has been with DESE as director of the School Governance and Transportation Section since July 2001. Before that, he was superintendent of Centralia Public Schools.


A total of 420 students will graduate. With increased campus enrollment and the growth of the university’s outreach programs, William Woods now holds graduation ceremonies in May, August and December each year. The combined total of graduates in 2006 is 1,234. This is 120 more than graduated in 2004 and 2005 and 406 more than graduated in 2003.

The commencement ceremony and hooding of candidates for graduate degrees will be held at 7 p.m. in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center. The university will grant 10 associate of art, five bachelor of art, 74 bachelor of science, one bachelor of fine art, one bachelor of social work, 74 master of business administration, 205 master of education and 50 specialist of education in school administration degrees.


In addition to undergraduates who studied on the main campus in Fulton, students from Graduate & Adult Studies cohorts in 26 communities will receive their diplomas. They include Bakersfield, Belton, Butler, Camdenton, Canton, Carthage, Caruthersville, Charleston, Chillicothe, Columbia, Dexter, Fulton, Grant City, Jefferson City, Joplin, Kearney, Liberty, Mexico, Moberly, Mountain Grove, Neosho, New Madrid, Sikeston, St. Joseph, Trenton and Washington.


Also, 11 students from the Southeast Asian island of Taiwan will graduate. William Woods has had a program of educating students from Taiwan since 1992.


As section director for DESE, the commencement speaker provides information and assistance concerning school governance, facilities and education policy issues for Missouri school officials, district patrons and legislators.


Quinn’s office is part of the Division of Administrative and Financial Services. It handles a wide range of issues, including student residency, pupil transportation, school district boundary lines, school elections, facility needs and school safety.


He represents the department on numerous committees, including the Missouri State High School Activities Association, Missouri School Plant Managers Association, School Bus Task Force and the Homeland Security Working Group on School Safety.


Before joining DESE, Quinn spent 28 years with the Centralia Public Schools (1972-2000). He served as a teacher, elementary school principal, high school principal and athletic director before becoming superintendent in 1986. While at Centralia, he earned a specialist’s degree in educational administration from the University of Missouri-Columbia.