Nunez Welcomes First Alum Commencement Speaker at 32nd Commencement Ceremony

Nunez Community College hosted its 32nd Commencement Ceremony May 16 at the Sigur Center in Chalmette. Celebrity chef, author and Nunez Culinary alum Chef Toya Boudy served as commencement speaker, becoming the first Nunez alum to fill that role. In addition to her commencement address, Boudy assisted Nunez Chancellor Dr. Tina Tinney onstage in the presentation of diplomas to graduates.

Nunez Community College celebrated 387 graduates May 16 at the Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette during the college’s 32nd Commencement Ceremony.

This year’s ceremony marked the first time that a Nunez alum served as commencement speaker as celebrity chef, author and 2014 Nunez Culinary graduate Chef Toya Boudy addressed graduates and guests.

Chef Toya is a New Orleans native who has appeared on television on CBS, NBC’s Today Show, Guy’s Grocery Games, TLC, Food Network, and was crowned Best Home Cook by Hallmark’s Home & Family in 2017. In addition to her TV appearances, Chef Toya has released two cookbooks: 2017’s Cook Like a New Orleanian, and Cooking for the Culture: Recipes & Stories from the Streets of New Orleans to the Table in 2023.

Chef Toya was named one of Louisiana’s Best Chefs in 2018 and 2019 by the American Culinary Federation of New Orleans. She is also known for her YouTube channel, Cooking with Toya Boudy, which has attracted 24,000 subscribers, and her podcast The 5 Senses.

“There’s something special about Nunez. It’s a rare environment,” Chef Toya told the graduating class. “People are here because they want to be here. And that energy is what made me comfortable.”

She recalled the role that longtime Nunez Culinary Instructor Chef Ruth Varisco played in shepherding her through turbulence during her time in college, having left Nunez and returned multiple times due to various challenges.

“I especially want to thank you for telling me the truth that last time I dropped out,” she said addressing Chef Ruth. “She didn’t even look directly at me. Like a New Orleanian mother she looked from the side of her eye and she said ‘One day you’re going to have to put little girl Toya away for good,’ and then she kept grading papers.

“And I just said ‘okay.’ And it was the heaviest okay I ever had to sit with. But years later I put little girl Toya to rest and came back and finished school.”

Among the assembled graduates listening to Chef Toya’s remarks were Nunez’s youngest 2024 graduate at 16 years old, and the oldest at 64.

Graduates hailed from 45 cities in 3 states, including Kevin Yanez Orellana of Braithwaite, who graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

Nunez’s class of ’24 also included 166 Dual Enrolled students who received a college credential in the same month they graduated high school, and 10 Adult Education students receiving their high school equivalency diplomas.

During the ceremony, Nunez 2023 Excellence In Teaching Award winner Dr. Alaa Khalil announced Kathleen Huff, Program Director for the Care and Development of Young Children and Teaching: Grades 1-5 programs, as the winner of the 2024 Excellence In Teaching Award, which is accompanied by the Lamarque Endowed Professorship.

The Excellence In Teaching Award nominees are selected each Spring by the Nunez faculty, and the winner is chosen by the Excellence In Teaching Committee.

“I remember a couple of years ago when I thought maybe I was getting a little old to still be here. And I was told, if I can still do what I need to do, it is perfectly okay,” said Huff. “So I want to challenge all the graduates, whatever age you are, you keep going. Next week I turn 72, and I still got it!”

Huff’s fellow nominees for the 2024 Excellence In Teaching Award included Brittney Zaffuto, Director of the Practical Nursing program, and Duane Jardine, Interim Program Chair of the Aerospace Manufacturing Technology program.

Registration is currently open at Nunez for the Summer 2024 and Summer Mini Session A terms, with classes scheduled to begin June 3. Registration is also open for the Fall 2024 semester, with classes beginning Aug. 20.

View available classes for all of the above terms at Assistance applying and registering for classes is available from our Student Success Team at

Nunez 2024 graduates are listed below by hometown:


  • Charles Guidry II


  • David Marlon Alvarez         
  • Sierra Leolen Bargky   
  • Breiana C. Braxton
  • Beatrice Rose Cage            
  • Esmeralda Jaylene Esparza
  • Marcela Estrada
  • Jared James Lachney           
  • Kayla L Courtney Mann
  • Michael Martin Jr.
  • L’Oreal Yvette Parker
  • Kaitlyn Mae Schlumbrecht


  • Ra’Shanda Bailey

Baton Rouge

  • Aidan Lambert                 

Bay Saint Louis, Miss.

  • Temple T. Chriss
  • Tyler Gomillion

Belle Chasse

  • Tristian Adams
  • Jade L. Arenales              
  • Seth R. Billingsley
  • Kelsey M. Dayton
  • Eric Dobson
  • Vincent Keith Drake, Sr.
  • Reese J. Espenan
  • Cole J. Foret
  • Daxton C. Hemming
  • Jace P. Jones
  • Blair Bryan O’Keeffe          
  • Jonathan J. Penisson
  • Jordan Rampon                 
  • Colby Stubbs
  • Alex J. Tate
  • Tyler P. Tauzin


  • Jalissa Marie Young


  • Jamiya Denise Addison
  • Kalan D. Bush
  • Shamanda Lenise Davis
  • Jaylon G. Sino
  • Kevin Cecilio Yanez Orellana


  • Emmitt L. Brooks, Jr.
  • Darren B. Fontaine, II


  • Ryan Christopher Abadie
  • Brenny J. Aleman Fonseca
  • Bayan Abdul Altayeb
  • Glen A. Alvarez
  • Yasmyn V. Ancalade
  • Neyri Ayala                   
  • Jordan A. Bartholomew         
  • Kayla Laurrin Bartholomew     
  • Russell J. Beaty, Jr.
  • Jacob C. Bell
  • Alex L. Blanchard             
  • Landyn Blanchard
  • Garrett Lee Brown
  • Dylan C. Bryan                
  • Brayen E. Canas
  • Madison Andrew Chambers
  • Ashleigh Ann Chiek            
  • Jesse Ray5 Cochrane
  • Estelle N. Conners
  • Salma J. Darawsheh
  • Shirley Renee Doggett
  • Candice R. Edwards
  • Brandon A. Enclarde
  • Dionnel Evans
  • Jeremy M. Forvendel
  • Alaina Michelle Francingues   
  • Cristhian Rene Garcia Espinal 
  • Thomas Gaspard
  • Hasan H. Ghanim
  • Tylor P. Glassman
  • Hailey Ann Gonzales
  • Trent Gonzales
  • Denita Danielle Hawkins       
  • Kevin Timothy Hubble
  • Bethany Humphries
  • Gavin J. Imbornone
  • Brandon L. Jackson
  • Evan J. Jacob
  • Sean Xavier Jacobs
  • Simon Frances Jesusa
  • Jorge Christian Lee Jimenez
  • Dairon A. Joaquin Alfaro
  • Jacob J. Johnson
  • Stevenisha Journee
  • Kelsey Juan                   
  • Cain M. Landry
  • Kelsey L. Laris               
  • Raymond C. Lubrano, III
  • Akevion Micheal Lucien
  • Darryl Andrade Mancinares     
  • Bayron Matos
  • Tayah M. Mcnab
  • Leindre Moore
  • Taniell Nelson                
  • Bao Nguyen
  • Daniel T. Nguyen
  • Nathan H. Nguyen
  • Michelle Anne Payton          
  • Brant L. Peterson
  • Kassidy Lee Potter            
  • Sabrina Rachel Powers         
  • Gregg B. Prater, Jr.
  • Richard C. Quiroz
  • Hunter J. Retif
  • Justin Daryl Ritchie
  • Ricky Mckayle Robin           
  • Tyler B. Rushing
  • Kenneth J. Sanchez
  • Sergio Alejandro Sanchez Miranda
  • Vickie Santalucito
  • Crystal Schaub
  • Quinten A. Shelling
  • Daniel Joseph Sherlock        
  • Brandon Shipley
  • Lyric Lashee’ Smith           
  • Brandon L. Steward            
  • Hadeel Tamimi
  • Nashaun D. Thomas
  • Kyle A. Vicknair
  • Jonathan Alan White
  • Corey Micheal Williams
  • Tayla L. Wilson


  • Cleo Catherine Estopinal
  • Bradley Fields
  • Samuel Jacob Ridge            

Des Allemands

  • Landon Micheal Cortez


  • Lani Lemann


  • Karlyn A. Favorite


  • Noah Detillier


  • Logan R. Coley

Greenwell Springs

  • Ronald Wilson III


  • Maxwell E. Agee
  • Tondranette Ross Brown        
  • Terra Lynndajah Coffil
  • Sanyika C. Farrar             
  • Renan Gabriel                 
  • Cayla Green
  • Tia Chenzira Hubert
  • Kenetria Kierra Jackson
  • Dominique Jean
  • Candice Johnson
  • Warren Kelly, III
  • Darrielle Odoms
  • Zelika Ahoua Ouattara         
  • Magnolitha Pierre
  • Eric St Romain, Sr.
  • Jada Ventris
  • Mya Christie Williams


  • Keyanna Shontrell Cobb        
  • Elroy Trent Duncan            
  • Derrick Encalade
  • Jessica Danielle Gaudet       
  • Ashley Angel Santiago
  • Percy James Saul              
  • Hermanese Walker              
  • Deztanee’s Secret Ward


  • Christiana Ceann Dickerson    
  • Jamie Everson
  • Jonathan Glover Jr.
  • Joseph Poon
  • Tarocheann Sterling           


  • Eli Wrangler Woodard

La Place

  • Courtney E. Billiot


  • Julian Chapman


  • Brock Adams


  • Ryan C. Rivers
  • Jakob Scott Spencer


  • Alexander R. Roux
  • Andre Rene Roux


  • Irlenys B. Ayala
  • Chase Edwin Cunningham        
  • Samantha M. Dendy
  • Ashely Elizabeth Foret        
  • Trey Green
  • Niki Kondylis
  • Kiante Tia Symone McCollum    
  • Amron G. Pimentel
  • Tyler Rhodes


  • David Leo Balser Jr.
  • Nicholas A. Bayhi
  • Hayden J. Blum
  • Reiss P. Bowen
  • Jasmine Bradley
  • Ty’sha M. Bryant
  • Leopold Vincent Fischer       
  • Joshua P. Gerrick             
  • Scott Anthony Grimaldi
  • Colin P. Huff                 
  • Shawn Edward Kelt
  • Konner E. Landry
  • Donovan J. Martin
  • Brock William Plaiscia
  • Leini Elizabeth Spears        
  • Landon S. Stasney
  • George E. Wehrlin IV
  • Austin H. Wheaton
  • Victor Joseph White Jr.


  • Ira Conrad Austin             
  • Jasmine Michelle Brinker
  • Rechelle Butler
  • Steven J. Darby
  • Aidan Christian Davis
  • Megan Dubuc                   
  • Mark N. Giacontiere Jr.
  • Cullen A. Johnson
  • Raymond John Johnson III
  • Logan LeJeune                 
  • Kyle Noel LeRouge
  • Qiliang Liu
  • Josh Sullivan
  • Travis Thiel
  • Kaci Ward

New Orleans

  • Nathan Albert II
  • Frank Bartholomew Sr.
  • Ashton Christopher Bates
  • Taylor Bendeck
  • Derrick J. Brocks II
  • Leslie Lynell Castro          
  • Cameron N. Claude
  • Jalaya Dotson
  • Thomas Dozier
  • Sierra Fairley
  • Megan K. Forbes
  • Joseph Michael Garrison
  • Emily Kay Gaudreau
  • Brittney George
  • Brandon M. Gibson
  • Mike’Kael Ro’Shea Gilmore     
  • James Goodall
  • Alnesha Marie Greenberry
  • Alexus Greer                  
  • Briana Griffin
  • Melvin Hamilton Jr.
  • Benard Harris
  • Brione Harris
  • Kyle C. Harris
  • Nattassia Lechelle Hawthorne-Binalla
  • Nicholas Michael Herbert Jr.
  • Asha Briyante Holmes
  • August Christian Homrighausen 
  • Sheila A. Howard
  • Stacey Polk Hurley
  • Jasmine Germaine Jackson      
  • Mark Douglas Johnson
  • Michael J. Joseph
  • Rochelle Beatrice Lawrence    
  • Adrian Tre LeBlanc
  • Brandy Livas                  
  • Cristian Martinez
  • Kierra B. Mash
  • Azizi Raheen Mathews
  • Cyntrell Mcdonald
  • Brittany Mikia Mitchell
  • Stephen Fuller Neeley
  • Trieu Nguyen
  • Keiondra Norman               
  • Matthew J. Parker
  • Kirsten Pate
  • Fransheska Pena De La Cruz
  • Cody Petrovich
  • Thuy Phan                     
  • Ronnie Phillips
  • Ronjae Pleasant
  • Jacques Robichaux Jr.
  • Janae J. Sanson
  • Robert L. Savage Jr.
  • Caleb Keenen Simon
  • Cristy Lillian Smith          
  • Lymonique Stevenson P. Landry 
  • Thomas Charles Sutherland
  • Troy Taylor
  • Kentrell Patricia Thomas
  • Kevin Fitzgerald Thomas Sr.
  • Arlo Soffer Townsley
  • John Hans Tsai                
  • Rodshanda C. Turner           
  • Dominisha Walker
  • Jade Taylor Warren
  • Tarase T. White               
  • Ahmad Williams
  • Lakisa Monique Williams
  • Alaina M. Young

Picayune, Miss.

  • Myles Quincy Agee             
  • Ishicia Marie Russell
  • Vincent Josiah Stallings


  • Tosha M. Evans

Port Sulphur

  • Gavin M. Dinette              
  • Erin Michelle Leboeuf

River Ridge

  • James P. Bendeck


  • Kevin Paul Addison            
  • Crystal Danielle Allen        
  • Rayshal Dewansha Badon
  • Kristina Michelle Binney      
  • Bryson W. Brown
  • Matthew Tyler Busbee
  • Brittany Chambers
  • Hannah Kyleigh Chuter         
  • Rajon’ Copelin
  • Johnny Jahir Cubas-viera
  • Redic C. Davis
  • Colby Gerard Dowden           
  • Kesslar J. Beverly            
  • Tiara L. Expose
  • Jose Manuel Galvez Jr.
  • Kailey Gillen
  • Sondra Elizabeth Groby
  • Marcus A. Hempfling
  • Megan Marie Holmes            
  • Ryan M. Johnson
  • Gabriela N. Juarez
  • Wendy M. Keller               
  • Tierny Legier
  • Victoria Martin
  • Tristyn Lori Matte            
  • Sidney Malik Mcmillan
  • Robert Monnier-Quick
  • Bianca Maria Morris
  • Michelle Goubler Palmer       
  • Kendranika Shanell Phillips   
  • Demaris C. Pierce             
  • Jaron A. Robinson
  • Benjamin Kaiser Runnels
  • Callie Reagan Sigsworth       
  • Shantel Renee Smith
  • Shantell S. Stewart
  • Caleb Stiegler                
  • Alicia Marie Terre            
  • Abbie Thibodeaux
  • Jessica Lesette Thomas        
  • Shantell M. Tiffith            
  • Megan M. Troyani
  • Dominic Veals
  • Tyler Joseph Veron            
  • Sarah Verret
  • Emilie Elizabeth Vidrine
  • Meagan Black White
  • Brent Williams                
  • Iria Dmeesheya Williams       

St. Bernard

  • Ashley Adams
  • Kennedy Asevado               
  • Reggie Bergeron
  • William M. Bertoniere
  • David P. Deselles Jr.     
  • Kevin N. Evans
  • Colby M. Gilchrist
  • Caden P. Guerra
  • Brady I. Nunez
  • Yovanny Ramirez Mancilla
  • Daniel T. Randazzo
  • Hayden M. Tregle
  • Kris A. Matute Torres
  • Victoria Mira                 
  • Emily N. Muller
  • Ethan Gregory Phelps          
  • Brooke Nikolle Ricouard       
  • Joseph Anthony Ricouard       
  • Eves J. Savoie                
  • Michael E. Winesberry Jr.
  • Caleb Joseph Young

St. Martinville

  • Dorien Jackson

Tomball, Texas

  • Tashell D. Parks


  • Alexandria S. Aisola
  • MacKenzie Aryn Bonvillian     
  • Laurence Bright Jr.
  • Julio Cabrera III
  • Devan Dale
  • Phil Dees Jr.
  • Austin Elisar
  • Ronald P. Eschete III
  • Bridget Marie Evans           
  • Kristy Lynn De Franza         
  • Colby R. Guerra Jr.
  • Joseph Landix
  • Andon Steven Long
  • Shane M. McCarthy             
  • Barry T. Ramirez Jr.
  • Mariah W. Ranko
  • Ashley Elizabeth Rodriguez    
  • Jamie Corine Sino             
  • Leon E. Swindler V
  • Callie Rose Topey             
  • Tiara Janae Tyler
  • Demetria Montrice Williams     
  • Tanya Josette Williams        


  • Casey J. Bryant


  • Zabrelle L. Nicholas


  • Amare Jamal Bailey