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Last updated: May 08. 2014 1:40PM - 233 Views

John B. Tibbs, 71, of Pikeville, will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in General Occupational Technology Studies on May 9 from Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
John B. Tibbs, 71, of Pikeville, will graduate with an Associate of Applied Science degree in General Occupational Technology Studies on May 9 from Big Sandy Community and Technical College.
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PIKEVILLE – John B. Tibbs didn’t have to look far for motivation after enrolling in college after spending four decades in the workforce.


“I had ten of them,” Tibbs, 71, of Pikeville, said, referring to his grandchildren.


Tibbs, of Pikeville, will graduate on May 9 with an Associate in Applied Science degree in General Occupational Technology Studies from Big Sandy Community and Technical College. He will also receive diplomas as an industrial electrician and construction electrician and a certificate as an electronics tester.


“You can’t teach old dogs new tricks, but you can always teach new tricks to an old dogs,” Tibbs said, smiling. He started contemplating college after retiring from BellSouth as an electronic technician after 40 years of service.


Retirement brought with it a lot of thinking. “I thought, ‘What was going to be my legacy?’” he said.


Going back to school was the answer.


Tibbs enrolled and year later, his grandson, Luke DeBoard, also started college. Actually, DeBoard is in the same program as his grandfather and will graduate next year.


“That’s something special,” Tibbs said. “I want to encourage all of my grandchildren to complete their education and find work.”


Joe Compton, professor of electrical technology and engineering technology at BSCTC’s Pikeville campus, said students like Tibbs inspire everyone, young and old, to put their best effort forward.


“John is not just completing, he’s completing with excellent grades,” said Compton. “He’s an example to students and has served as a mentor since the first day he walked on our campus.”


For more information on the electrical technology program on BSCTC’s Pikeville campus, contact Compton at (606) 218-1262 or email joseph.compton@kctcs.edu.


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