By Ralph Morang / firstname.lastname@example.org May 31, 2018
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Ten students left their high school years behind Thursday evening as graduates of Marshwood Adult Education. For reasons unique to each of them, completing regular high school became difficult, or had to be postponed.
Some took evening classes to earn a high school diploma, and others completed a series of tests in the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) program.
A set of twins, William and Candace Lach, received their diplomas as did brother and sister Amelia Lee-Rogers and Miles Lee-Rogers.
Marshwood Adult and Community Education Director Lorraine Robida greeted the graduates in the Adult Ed offices as friends, relatives and supporters arrived. “These people love you, and they’ve waited a long time for this,” she said.
On the stage of the Wesley Kennedy Performing Arts Center, Robida thanked the supporters of the graduates, her staff, and the teachers who work extra hours in her department: Nancy Mann, Beth Werker, Stacey Barlow, John Whiting and Renee Wheaton.
She presented gifts to Beth Werker and Adult Education Administrative Assistant Joan Wade. Both are retiring.
MSAD35 School Superintendent Dr. Mary Nash that for whatever reason high school was interrupted for the graduates, “You persevered — enjoy your special moment. Well done.”
Graduate Kevin Carver gave the graduation speech. He said, “For the past 20 years, I have been working hard to obtain my high school diploma. As said by Roman Atwood, ‘Do what you have gotta do to do what you wanna do.’ ”
Carver said he had a hard time in school as far back as first grade. He was told he had a learning disability. In high school, he said he became ill. “I had tried my best for the beginning of the year to keep my head above water.” His guidance counselor, Amy LaBelle recommended that he go to adult education. “After much consideration, I decided that the best option for me was attending adult education,” he said.
Carver enrolled in adult education and told the audience it was the best decision that he had ever made. “All of my teachers at adult education are some of the best teachers I have had in all years of school. My teachers were always there to support me when I needed it. They never let me leave the classroom without making sure that I understood the material that were learning. With all of their help I was able to get through adult education without any bumps in the road.
“As we all graduate today, don’t forget to thank those you got you here today: Google, Wikipedia, Red Bull, and Copy and Paste. Oops, I mean your family, friends, and teachers.”
Graduate Jonathan Thibeau was a late addition to the program, giving a speech in which he thanked his grandparents for their support. “I would not be here without them,” he said. He thanked teacher Nancy Mann for getting him though English class.
Diplomas were handed out by Dr. Nash, and afterwards, as always, cake and refreshments awaited graduates and their supporters in the school’s lobby.
Students earning Marshwood Adult Education High School Diplomas were: Kevin Carver, Julia Connors, Patrick Grogan, William Lach, Candace Lach, Amelia Lee-Rogers and Jonathan Thibeau. Guy Hanks III earned his diploma in December.
Students who passed their HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) were Miles Lee-Rogers, Kendra Ruhman and Jared Stofanak. Zakk Hussey and Daniel Jacobitz completed the program in December.