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GED Graduation Celebrated

Loudoun County Public Schools' Adult Education Program celebrated the graduation of 40 students who completed the requirements for a General Education Diploma (GED) in a ceremony held June 10, in the Stone Bridge High School auditorium.

Irene C. Riordan, adult education coordinator for LCPS, opened the ceremony with a few statistics about adult education and the GED program.

* Each year in Virginia more than 28,000 students access adult education programs.

* In 2004, 78 percent of the students who enrolled in the program received their GED certificate.

* In 2004, Gov. Mark Warner pledged his support for the program, Race to GED with the goal to double the number of Virginia's GED graduates.

* In Loudoun County, 175 graduates received a GED diploma during the 2004-2005 school year.

Randy Collins, president and CEO of the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce, presented a three-tiered keynote address. He spoke of his graduation, provided a profile of someone who did not graduate from high school, his father, and provided some life lessons for the adult learners.

Collins shared with the graduates his own life lessons, by advising:

* Whatever paths you choose, do it with passion.

* Help others who are less fortunate than you.

* Remember honey is always better than vinegar - it is not true that good people finish last.

* Learn to forgive.

* Dare to dream.

Shannon Wiley was selected to provide the graduate's viewpoint for the ceremony. Wiley told the audience how the GED program enabled her to move from what she perceived as a hopeless situation to success. Wiley ended her remarks by saying, "Getting my GED has allowed me to look toward my future plans with new hopes and dreams."

Attending the GED graduation were School Board members Robert F. DuPree, Jr. (Dulles District) and Priscilla B. Godfrey (Blue Ridge District).