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Adult Education Holds Annual Ceremony
Huntingtown, MD - 10/12/2012
By Marty Madden
Over 20 individuals who successfully completed work to obtain a high school diploma were applauded Wednesday, Oct. 10 at the Calvert County Public Schools’ 18th annual Adult Education Graduation ceremony. The event was held at Huntingtown High School (HHS).
The students earned their diplomas either through the general education development (GED) program or the External Diploma Program (EDP).
The ceremony comes complete with the participants donning the traditional caps and gowns. The HHS String Quartet played Elgar’s “Pomp and Circumstance” as the grads marched into the HHS Auditorium.
Not all of the program’s graduates opt to participate in the commencement exercise. Still, the Oct. 10 event honorees represented what Adult Education Coordinator Marjorie Zimmerman called “a very diverse group.”
“We did not choose the usual path,” said graduate speaker Brittany Nebel-Sturgess, who told her story of becoming pregnant at 15 and the way it altered her path toward achieving a career goal. By successfully completing the EDP, Nebel-Sturgess now finds herself ahead of her high school class and is on track to realize a career in nursing. “I’m anxious to be out in the real world,” said Nebel-Sturgess.
“I got lazy,” said Mandel Way, another graduate speaker. While he found work after dropping out of high school, Way explained he was let go when his employer found out he didn’t have a high school diploma. Way said he was able to complete the Adult Education program despite sustaining injuries in a motorcycle accident. For that he thanked the program’s staff.
“The more you advance in your education the more you increase your job security,” said Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) Adult Education Specialist Helen Coupe. “You have probably discovered new strengths and abilities.”
Several years ago, Maryland’s Adult Education programs were shifted from the auspices of the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) to DLLR. That move was made to emphasize the need for an educated workforce. Coupe estimated that between 5,000 to 6,000 people earn high school diplomas in Maryland through Adult Education programs.
While Zimmerman marveled at the group’s diversity—noting that “some are off to college, training or jobs”—she affirmed the students had something in common. “Dedication and perseverance in attaining their goal,” said Zimmerman.
Two graduates—Chanel Frederick and Samantha Morgart—were recognized for their outstanding academic performance, Frederick in the EDP and Morgart on the GED test.
Seven students were recognized for their participation in an EDP Pilot Program involving online studies, which Zimmerman said would be fully implemented in January. The students recognized were Way, Frederick, Pamela Barker, Jennifer Hogan, Sherrita Mackall, Wayne Jordan Sr. and Dorothy White.
As he closed his remarks, Way had a message for anyone of any age who still does not have a high school diploma -- enroll in the Adult Education Program. “If I can do it, you can do it,” said Way.
Contact Marty Madden at email@example.com
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