Perseverance Celebrated at Continuing Education Graduation
The Fort Wayne Community Schools Adult and Continuing Education Department will celebrate the success of 200 graduates at its Commencement Ceremony at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at North Side High School. Prior to the Commencement Ceremony the Literacy Alliance will host a reception from 6-6:30 p.m. at North Side.
From Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2016, 200 students passed the High School Equivalency (HSE) Exam. The HSE diploma replaced the GED (General Educational Development) certificate as a change in testing took place nationwide in 2014. Instead of just one national test, states were allowed to choose tests that are more closely aligned with a state’s academic standards. The test chosen by Indiana, the Test Assessing Secondary Completion (TASC) is closely aligned to College and Career Readiness Standards for Adult Education.
During Wednesday’s celebration, the stories of four graduating students will be shared. The Continuing Education Program serves adult students of all ages, many of whom have endured educational and personal struggles on their road to graduation. Highlighted students this year are:
- Amy and Trint Krontz discovered that they were going to have a baby when Amy was a freshman and Trint was a junior in high school. Their families and friends were sure that they had ruined their lives. No one believed they would stay together or be able to take care of their child on their own. But Amy and Trint have defied all odds by raising four happy, healthy children, staying happily married for 24 years, and running their own business together. Amy attended classes through FWCS Continuing Education’s Aboite, Heritage Park, and Ivy Tech sites, and Trint mainly used distance learning and a little help from teacher Linda Bell to pass his HSE test. They are proud to be graduating together and their children are just as proud. The children see their parents as role models for persevering and never giving up on their goals.
- Fany Barron grew up in Coahuila, Mexico, where she earned her college degree and became a Certified Public Accountant. In 1995, she came to the United States with her husband and two children to become fluent in English. They decided to stay because of the opportunities here to create a better life for their children. Today, their daughter is in college and their son is finishing high school. Fany started in the Adult English Language Learner program at the Bill C. Anthis Center and improved her English enough to move into the HSE program. Even though she has a college degree from Mexico, she wanted to earn the high school equivalency and move on to earning another college degree in the U.S. She wants her children to be as proud of her as she is of them by striving to continuously improve herself.
- Iesha Rile had always struggled in school. She completed 12th grade, but she didn’t pass the state standardized tests required to receive her diploma. As a mother, she wanted her daughter to know that giving up is not an option, so even though there were many obstacles, she finally got into adult education classes at Fellowship Learning Center through the Literacy Alliance. It was a struggle to pass the HSE test, but with determination, hard work and a lot of help from her teachers and tutor, she earned her HSE diploma. She also earned her START hospitality certification through WorkIN and is excited about attending Ivy Tech where she plans to take culinary arts classes.
- Tahj Smith attended high school in Romulus, Mich., through his senior year of high school, but he only earned half of the credits he needed to graduate. He knew that his life was not going the way he wanted, but he wasn’t sure what to do about it. His grandfather, who lives in Fort Wayne, did some investigating and told Tahj about the Continuing Education program at the Bill C. Anthis Center. Tahj moved in with his grandparents and enrolled in the HSE program in September. He worked very hard and passed his test in December. He is grateful that he was given such a valuable opportunity to get his life back on track and spend unforgettable times with his grandparents. He feels like he finally woke up and takes pride in his motivation and accomplishments. He plans to enroll in the culinary arts program at either Ivy Tech or in Chicago in the fall.