GED students walk across the stage at graduation for the first time in two years

Published 10:25 am Monday, June 27, 2022

For the first two in two years, Kentucky Adult Education students walked across a stage and were handed their diplomas.

Kentucky Adult Education held a ceremony at East Jessamine High School for students getting their GEDs from Jessamine and Woodford counties.

Family and friends were in attendance to watch and celebrate the 40 graduates. There were several speakers at the ceremony and several awards were handed out to students and different community partners.

Christina Coyle was the first person in Jessamine County to earn her GED from home. Coyle spoke at the ceremony, telling her story. Coyle had spent several years trying to earn her GED but was inspired when her child entered pre-school during the pandemic.

“I had the privilege of being the first person to obtain my GED with this new software in Jessamine County, in the comforts of my home. I’ve since then obtained and maintained a job. They put me and my son on posters, to encourage other people to go back and get their GED. I’ve had a videographer, Ben Kerwin, do a short video on my experience and the steps it took to get there.” Coyle said in her speech. “Regardless of how much of an honor it’s been to be Adult Education’s poster child, and to be chosen to speak to everyone here today, it’s an even bigger honor to not be a High School dropout.”

Another student speaker was Nancy Cruz, who shared her journey toward getting her GED as well as her experience as an active member in the English As Second Language program. Cruz received an award at the ceremony for a high GED score in math in 2021.

“Today is a very special day. We are celebrating graduations again after a couple of years with great difficulties, changes and challenges. This pandemic, in one way or another, affected and changed our lives. But thanks to our effort, sacrifice, and solidarity, we are able to be here together to celebrate today.” Cruz said in her speech.

Superintendent Matt Moore was in attendance at the ceremony to present an award to Kristen Edwards from LEX18, who reported on the bus shortages at Jessamine County Schools. Edwards was recognized as the community partner, as her reporting helped bring in bus drivers for Jessamine County Schools.

A second community partner that was recognized at the ceremony was First Baptist Church, which helped fundraise donations to cover the costs of taking the GED tests and courses. Pastor Moses Radford accepted the award, as his help was essential to the cause.

The 2022 ESL Student of the year award was given to Oscar Trujillo for Woodford County and Barbara Taulbee for Jessamine County. The BEAM Student of the year award was given to Judes Boulay and Oscar Trujillo. The GED Student of the Year Award for Woodford County was given to Joe Anderson and Pam Leadingham for Jessamine County.

For more information about the GED and Kentucky Adult Education, www.jessamine.kyschools.us/adulteducation.