Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

June 30, 2013

Success stories

ACTC honors GED recipients

ASHLAND — Joan S. Flanery, the retiring longtime director of adult education at Ashland Community and Technical College, presided over one of the events that made her years of working with adults so worthwhile: the annual General Educational Development graduation ceremony.

While 19 GED recipients celebrated the accomplishment with their families, Flanery said 71 students received the high school equivalency credential through ACTC’s Adult Education Program, including six who received perfect scores on the demanding GED test, including three in reading, two in science and one in mathematics.

Sri “Ray-Ray” Lewis, who received a perfect score in math, attended. A native of Indonesia, Lewis earned a two-year associate degree in business from a college in her native country, but wanted to earn a business degree from a college in the United States because of the “higher standards.” Thanks to the transfer of GI benefits earned by her husband while he was in the military, about 70 percent of her college education had been paid for for 36 months.

Learning to take the test in English, her second language, was the greatest challenge in earning her GED. She plans to duplicate the degree she earned in Indonesia.

Lewis was just one of the many success stories at Sunday afternoon’s graduation ceremony on ACTC’s College Drive Campus.

Angela Green, who received her GED through the Adult Education Program two years ago, was the student speaker. She said she became pregnant with her first child at 14 and dropped out of school.

“Who could believe that someone like me, a middle-school dropout, would ever receive a GED and go on to college?” she asked the GED recipients. “Believe me, if I can do it, you can do it.”

Because she had quit school far short of earning her high school diploma, Lewis admits it took a “lot of work and persistence” to earn her GED, but she credits Flanery and adult education teacher Carol Jackson for “believing in me and always encouraging me to keep working.”

Green has completed her associate degree at ACTC, graduating with honors, and will enroll in Morehead State University this fall. Among family members on hand to cheer Lewis Sunday afternoon was the daughter she had at 14. The pride she had in her mother’s achievement was obvious.

Wilma Brown dropped out of high school in Columbus, Ohio, in 1969 because she said racial tensions at the time made her afraid to go to school. More than 25 years later, Brown earned her GED through the Adult Education Program and she attended the graduation to encourage students to continue their education.  

“I was 44 when I earned my GED and 50 when I enrolled in nursing school,” Brown said. “I am living proof that you are never too old to improve yourself.”

Brown is a licensed practical nurse at Morning Pointe Ridge Senior Living in Russell.

State Rep. Rocky Adkins, D-Sandy Hook, was the guest speaker at the graduation. He was first elected to the Kentucky House of Representatives in 1986 at 26, and he has been House majority leader since 2003. He also is a 17-year cancer surviver.

Earning their GEDs is a credit to their “commitment and hard work” in pursing a goal, and he encouraged the recipents to “take advantage of the opportunities before you.”

America became the world’s greatest nation because its people worked hard and were not afraid to “get their feet muddy and their hands dirty” to accomplish something, Adkins said. “You people are following that tradition. Take advantage of the opportunity you have been given.”

When asked if they planned to enroll in college, nearly every GED recipient at the ceremony raised their hand indicating the credential was a milestone, but not the end of their education.

Adkins also presented Flanery with a document signed by Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo and himself honoring her years of dedication to adult education. But the greatest tribute of the day may have come from Green.

“I would not be here today without Joan Flanery,” Green said after the graduation.  When work and family obligations made it difficult for Green to continue working toward her GED, “Joan Flanery never gave up on me. She was always there with an encouraging word when I got a little down.”

D.J. Begley of Hazard, administrator of adult education in Region 4, which includes Boyd County, said he does not normally drive more than two hours to attend a GED graduation.

“I’m here today because I knew it would be my last opportunity to thank Joan Flanery for all she had done for adult education in Kentucky.”

The event was Flanery’s last official act as head of the adult program at the college.

JOHN CANNON can be reached at jcannon@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2649.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday

    A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ashland couple indicted on grave violation charges

     A man and a woman from Ashland have been indicted for allegedly stealing brass flower vases from graves at Rose Hill Burial Park.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Shore clerk gives updates on city building bids, sewer project

    City officials may not have to wait much longer to move from their temporary offices on Main Street into a shiny, new building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Fate of stray animals in Carter County questioned

    Stray animals in Carter County may be disappearing because no one seems to know exactly where they are going.

    April 22, 2014

  • Recovery center finds home

    The mayor of Grayson said he isn’t concerned about the money a new recovery center will funnel into the city, although he is deeply appreciative of what the proposed facility may be able to offer “people who really need help” recovering from the effects of drug and alcohol abuse.

    April 22, 2014

  • Olive Hill man charged with shooting wife during dispute

    A Carter County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck during a domestic dispute.
    Robert Tackett, 47, of Olive Hill, was lodged in the Carter County Detention Center on Monday, charged with attempted murder-domestic violence, Kentucky State Police at Ashland said.

    April 22, 2014

  • Two of three Greenup commission seats on ballot

    Two of three commission seats are up for grabs in Greenup County this fall, and both will involve primary contests to determine the ballot lineup in the November election.

    April 22, 2014

  • 0423attmurder_tackett.jpg Olive Hill man charged with attempted murder

    A Carter County man has been arrested for allegedly shooting his wife in the neck during a domestic dispute.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rotary updated on Alliance

    Ed Neely, president of the Ashland Rotary Club and chairman of the Ashland Alliance, addressed Rotarians in both capacities during the Monday meeting to give an update on the organization’s recent progress.

    April 21, 2014

  • Prater has been satisfying fans’ hunger for 40 years

    Debbie Prater has satisfied thousands of athletes’, parents’ and fans’ snacking desires for nearly 360 months.
    That’s just about 40 years of serving nachos, popcorn, chili dogs, water and soda from Lewis County’s football, basketball and baseball concession stands, and Prater is retiring after this year’s last pitch.

    April 21, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone