People don’t complete high school for many different reasons. However, hundreds attend Catawba Valley Community College’s adult education program each year in order to “finish what they started.”
Those who succeed, including 20 plus people who chose to participate in a recent graduation ceremony held at CVCC, cite the unmatched support provided by their instructors.
“My angel Tina (Fredell) and my angel Mary (Morningstar) and my other angel Jessica (Watkins) helped me through,” said 70-year-old graduate Priscilla Hoyle. Hoyle resumed her educational journey at CVCC eight years ago after losing her job of more than two decades at the now defunct Pet Dairy in Hickory.
“My mother died 21 years ago, and there was a hole in my heart where I promised her I would finish,” said the Hickory resident. Despite taking a break to recover from hip replacement, she said she never gave up. “I kept singing the gospel song ‘I Can’t Give Up Now.’ Like the song said, I’ve come too far to turn around.”
A number of students volunteered to speak at the graduation ceremony held in the college’s Tarlton Complex. All of them thanked family members as well as their instructors for their support.
“I want to thank all my instructors for not letting me quit,” said graduate Monika Nance. “I’m a wife and a mother, and I want to set a good example for my children.” She plans on continuing her education at CVCC’s Alexander Center for Education in Taylorsville to become a phlebotomist.
John Oyster admits to making some poor choices in the past that prevented from him finishing high school in his home state of Michigan. For the past year, the Claremont resident has been volunteering at Claremont Fire Department and wants to earn both a Fire Protection Technology and Emergency Medical Science associate degree. Both degrees, however, require high school completion. Claremont Fire Chief Bart Travis encouraged Oyster to complete his GED if he wanted to advance in the public service field.
“Those who are looking at my career field, I want to serve as an example of someone who finished my GED and is successful. I want them to say, ‘Look at what he did, so maybe I can get there, too.’”
“These students overcome incredible obstacles to complete their high school credential,” said Chanell Morello, CVCC’s executive director of Learning & Personal Enrichment. “It’s amazing what they achieve.”
Graduates who elected to be recognized during the ceremony include Michelle Colette Adams, Conover; Destany Grace Coffey, Taylorsville; Heaven Leigh Hope Coffey, Taylorsville; Jesse Lee Coffey, Vale; Kailee Renee Cook, Denver; Monica Erin Deal, Newton; Elizabeth Ashley Decker, Shelby; Hannah Marie Duff, Hickory; Teresa Renee Griffith, Hildebran; Abby LeeAnn Harrington, Taylorsville; Priscilla E. Hoyle, Hickory; Kirsten Elizabeth Koenders, Rutherford College; Scott A. Glen McCall, Maiden; Monika Nance, Taylorsville; John Patrick Oyster, Claremont; Megan Lasha Ratliff, Morganton; Cathy W. Rudisill, Hickory; Kara Machel Thompson, Hickory; and Ashley Nicole Triplett, Lincolnton.
For more information about obtaining an adult secondary credential, call or email Tina Fredell at 828.327.7000, ext. 4353 or firstname.lastname@example.org.