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Adult Ed. students receive diplomas
June 1, 2017
By Ralph Morang firstname.lastname@example.org
SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — As the 2017 graduates of the Marshwood Adult Education program lined up for a rehearsal of their ceremony Thursday night, Administrative Assistant Joan Wade gave a final instruction.
“All tassels go on the right side,” she said.
On the stage of the Wesley E. Kennedy Performing Arts Center, 15 students received either high school diplomas or were recipients of high school equivalency test certificates (HiSET).
Students can take several months or several years to complete the diploma program, and the school holds practice tests for those in the HiSET program.
Rehearsal over, parents, friends and supporters filed into the auditorium. Adult Education Director Lorraine Robida welcomed everyone, saying, “These graduate have reached a milestone, they did it.”
MSAD35 Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary Nash told them, “This graduation is so special.” Each student had his or her eduction interrupted but has moved forward, she said. “Congratulations on behalf of the school board of directors.”
Graduate Daniel MacDonald spoke to the audience.
“It is a moment, isn’t it?” he said. MacDonald said a year ago he would have been called “a headache” or a “train wreck.” Today, he calls himself “recovered.”
He spoke of the obstacles he has overcome.
“On June 17, I will have completed a year of sobriety,” he said.
Then he spoke of his father. “He was a powerhouse,” he said, and told how he lost him to a heart attack last September.
MacDonald ended with by reading a poem to his father about going back to school.
“I did it all for you” was the last line.
Peyton Rix followed, saying how she got support to go back to school.
“They helped me get my priorities in order,” she said. “They never stopped believing in me.”
As School Board of Directors Chair Keri Tice read out the names, Dr. Nash handed out diplomas and certificates.
Brothers Kashir and Armando White were in the HiSET program. According to Wade, Kashir began his return to education in the diploma program but switched to the HiSET track when Armando joined him.
After dropping out of school in December, Karyzmah Barnett, 18, of South Berwick, returned and after six months, received her diploma.
Out in the lobby afterwards, there were hugs and cake. Emma Zachau, 20, of South Berwick, was hugged by her mother, Jennifer Gorman. Emma had dropped out of school her senior year. She said she returned to school “because I wanted to do something for me.”
The 2017 Marshwood Adult Eduction diploma graduates are Karyzmah Barnett, Daniel MacDonald, Emily Palmer and Peyton Rix. The HiSET certificate recipients are Brianna Blanchett, Brent Croteau, Damon Davis, R. J. Martin, Jr, Spencer Moynahan, Myra Sallet, Carlos Tetu, Armando White, Kashir White and Emma Zachau.