Darlene Saxon: PTC Grad Makes Her Mark
Darlene Saxon, a 2009 PTC graduate, had always wanted to be a teacher. Little did she know how she would accomplish that goal, especially since she didn’t attend college right after high school.
“I remember being very excited at my high school graduation,” she says. “But I noticed that many of my friends were making plans to further their education. They were making plans for college.”
Saxon didn’t think college was an option for her. But later, when she and her husband decided to home school their children, she began receiving compliments on how well-educated and well-mannered her children were. These conversations led her to re-think her assumption that college wasn’t for her.
She began to think about how she could further her dream to teach, and she enrolled in the Early Care and Education program at PTC. She now plans to continue her studies toward a bachelor’s degree.
“My program of study has benefitted me greatly. It has caused me to strive for improvement daily,” said Saxon. “I have a passion to teach children and it has never left me despite various circumstances that have happened in my life.”
While at PTC, Saxon served as presidential ambassador for two years and was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. She was also recognized in Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges.
“Piedmont Tech puts me in an emotional state because it has been such a blessing to me,” Saxon said. “At age 44, stepping on that campus was the most horrifying experience I could imagine. But I soon discovered that, yes, you can begin college later in life. And yes, you can graduate with double honors.”
Upon graduation in May 2009, she put her skills to work. Saxon is the founder and pastor of The Kingdom Works Ministries and CEO of The Kingdom Academy Christian School and The Kingdom Kidz Tiny Tots Child Care and Development Center.
As she prepared to expand the child care and development center, Saxon turned to her PTC instructors for help. Rhonda Pendergrass, an ECD instructor, worked with Saxon on developing an exemplary facility.
“They didn’t just leave me when I graduated,” said Saxon. “They’re still here for me.”
The child care and development center opened in April. Saxon is still expanding. She is currently working with the city and the county to open a community center.
She is also searching for a new facility for the child care and development center. “We’ve already reached capacity for the new facility, and we’re looking for ways to expand again,” Saxon said.
Her love of Piedmont Tech has been passed on to her staff. All of the caregivers, instructors and even business office personnel within the school and child care and development center are either enrolled at Piedmont Tech or are recent graduates.
“Paving the pathway to success for children is the driving force for my success,” she said. “I knew this was what I was meant to do and Piedmont Tech prepared me.”