Lewiston Adult Education Director Eva Giles and Lewiston Superintendent Leon Levesque
Lewiston Superintendent Leon Levesque was recently honored by the Maine Adult Education Association with their Distinguished Service Award.
Levesque’s active interest in adult learning, his creativity in increasing opportunities for adults in Lewiston, and his commitment to advocating for Adult Education at state and local levels gained him recognition from the members of Maine Adult Education Association.
Lewiston Adult Education Director Eva Giles finds Levesque to be the ultimate model of lifelong learning. "Mr. Levesque attends every graduation ceremony, and each time reminds us that it is his favorite night of the year. He truly understands the challenges these students have overcome. He has an immense amount of respect for our learners, and wants to be there to celebrate their achievements and encourage them to continue learning."
Levesque also received applause for his initiative utilizing Lewiston Adult Education to conduct professional development and other technology trainings for school department faculty and staff. Lewiston Adult Education has continued to have success providing customized trainings to the school department and to area businesses as well.
Although Levesque will be retiring from Lewiston at the end of the year, his impact on the Lewiston Adult Education program will have a lasting effect not only on adult learners in Lewiston, but adult learners and Adult Education programs across the state.
by Jessica Crabtree
on July 13, 2010
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RSU 13 hosted its 2010 Adult Education graduation on Friday, June 9th, a ceremony to celebrate the 46 adults who earned their high school diploma or GED this year. Graduates attending the ceremony include Kaitlyn Arsenault, Becky Chavanne, Krystal Dodge, Christopher Grout, Jessica Isakson, Joshua Keating, Annette Merrifield, Shawna Perreault, Morria Plant, Amelia Sukeforth, Jessica Tyler, and Michelle Young. Ms. Isakson was the student speaker and congratulated her peers in a touching speech. Mr. Grout and Mrs. Merrifield also addressed the audience, thanking those individuals who helped them along the way. In total, RSU 13 awarded 31 GEDs and 15 Adult Education Diplomas during the 2009-2010 school year.
Speaker of the House, Hannah Pingree, addressed graduates with an inspirational address that focused on the connection between individual successes and healthy, prosperous Maine communities. Ms. Pingree said that “having a diploma will open up more doors in your lives, present more opportunities.” She went on to acknowledge: “You all took a risk in coming back to school. None of this was easy or convenient, yet you did it. When you decided that going back to school was important to you, you took control of your future and you took a positive step forward. It may have seemed daunting at the time, but today you showed yourself that you were up to the task, and your life in the community, and your family will all be better for it. And that’s good for our entire community. Consider your success here today as a beginning, not an end.”
Ms. Pingree took a moment to honor Adult Education Director, Shannon M. Parker, for her recent recognition as a “tireless advocate and grant writer” for RSU 13. She also thanked the families of graduates, noting that support, effort and sacrifices furnished in the home were essential ingredients in student success. Ms. Pingree is the 99th Speaker of the House of Representatives and is a native of North Haven, Maine. Her speech concluded by telling graduates, “Today is about celebrating and you should feel great. But I hope tomorrow that you will feel bolstered by this success and start thinking about what your next challenge will be. I wish for each of you to take on things that you didn’t think you were capable of, and I know it will make all the difference.”
Dr. Judith Lucarelli, RSU 13 Superintendent of Schools, proudly handed out diplomas. Her remarks challenged graduates to work toward their next degree, making lifelong learning part of their personal goals: “This is an amazing group of dedicated, determined people that we honor tonight. My challenge to you tonight is that this not be the end of your learning. I urge you to continue your education in a formal way. And when you move on to your next degree, please let us know how you are doing. You prove tonight that as an adult you can be successful at school. For your whole life, be a student!”
Students earning their GED (General Education Development) Diplomas worked within RSU 13’s full time Adult Learning Center located at the McLain School, while Adult Education High School Diploma students took credit bearing classes in the evenings at Rockland District High School. Nearly 150 family members and friends of the graduates joined in the celebration. “The graduates have worked hard to overcome incredible obstacles and I hope they feel inspired by their achievement and continue their education. Earning a diploma is an incredible accomplishment, one which has the capacity to bring endless opportunities,” says Shannon M. Parker, Director of RSU 13 Adult and Community Education.
Author: Shannon Parker
by Vanessa Richards
on July 12, 2010
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David Trask, his daughter Samantha Trask, and friend Samuel Heikkinen prepare for the Graduation Ceremony.
On June 8th, surrounded by hundreds of family members, friends, teachers and advocates, more than 170 adults graduated from Lewiston Adult Education with their GED or High School Diploma.
These individuals, ranging in age from the late teens to mid-50’s, juggled jobs, family and school as they put in the hundreds of hours of work required to complete high school credit or prep for the rigorous GED exams. Many of these graduates returned to Lewiston Adult Education to complete their High School Credential to enhance their qualifications for a job, go on to college or simply to fulfill long-held goals.
One member of the class of 2010, David Trask, was recognized for returning to finish his GED after a decade-long hiatus. Although he left high school nearly 34 years ago, Trask returned to start working on his GED in 1990. In 1991 Trask left without completing his GED, only to return in 2009, when he resumed working with the same teacher, Don Roux.
“When David first came here I had hair and teeth!” Roux joked during Graduation.
Trask had returned to finish his GED after his full-time position as a school bus driver was reduced to part-time. Trask needed a full time position, and as he began his job search, he found that all of the jobs he wanted required a High School Diploma or GED.
“I realized that I really did need my GED to get a good-paying job, that a GED would open doors for me. And I wanted to set a good example for my kids.”
Trask was certainly successful setting an example for others. When Trask returned to the Adult Learning Center, did not come alone. As he resumed work on his GED, he encouraged his grown children to join him.
Trask said “I started going to classes, and said to my daughter, ‘Look, I’m doing it!’ So she started going, and then two of her friends started going!”
At the ceremony on June 8th, Trask marched across the stage followed by his daughter, Samantha Trask, her boyfriend, and another friend of hers. Trask’s son is still working on his GED at Lewiston Adult Education, but Trask hopes to watch him graduate next year.
Trask said, “I’m sorry it took losing my full-time position to get me going again. But it’s never too late- I’ve seen folks older than me there! I want to show others that if we can do it, they can too.”
Also recognized at the graduation ceremony were those who completed workforce training certification programs, including CNA, Clerical Certificate, Culinary Arts Certificate, Medical Office Certificate and Welding Certificate. Participants in the College Transitions Program and the Career Transitions: Health Care Edition program.
PVAEC celebrated with students, families and staff during its graduation ceremony at Center Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft on May 26, 2010.
PVAEC (Piscataquis Valley Adult Education Cooperative) had 48 students earn either their high school diploma or their GED since last year's graduation ceremony.
This year's program began with an introduction by Thelma Regan, Director of PVAEC.
The keynote speaker was Joanna Russell, Director of Tri-County Workforce Investment Board. Joanna's motivational speech began by noting that she took Adult Education refresher courses when she was in her thirties to start her on the path to her MBA.
The student speaker this year was Benjamin Richardson. Ben's moving speech spoke of his journey from the depths of drug and alcohol abuse after the death of his father to earning his GED and being accepted as a freshman at Eastern Maine Community College.
The musical interlude was provided by Susan Ramsey and Ruth Fogg, North Country Strings Duo.
Daniel Smith was awarded his honor cord for achieving his high GED Score. The cord and certificate were awarded by Eve Salley, Chief GED Examiner and Pam Flanagan, GED Examiner.
The presentation of the diplomas was handled by Paul Stearns, RSU 80 Superintendent and Thelma Regan. Then the graduates turned their tassels and exited the theater.
Ready to get started on your diploma? Call (207) 564-6525 for more information. You could be in the pictures from next year's ceremony!
by Kathy Normandin
on May 27, 2010
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