The size of the Monte Vista Center's graduating class was small in numbers - just three students - but if heart is a measure, this will rank as one of the largest graduating classes in Davis County this year.

Robert Swan, Jason Steiger and Jerry Sethongkang are the graduating class of 1988 for the center, a special education school serving the mentally retarded and severely handicapped students living in Davis County. To these three, learning is a life achievement and not something to be taken lightly.As for many getting diplomas, the graduation ceremony for the three is simply another milepost on the way to other achievements and goals. Without a moment's pause, the students will move into another avenue of education at the Pioneer Adult Rehabilitation Center's sheltered workshop program. Two will enter the food and housekeeping program operated at Lakeview Hospital in Bountiful, while the third will find his work associated with the center's salvaging contract with Hill Air Force Base.

Lorna Gesco, Jason Steiger's mother, told those attending the graduation of her gratitude for the Monte Vista program. She said the education received will help the three graduates improve their lives and allow them to make a meaningful contribution to the community. She noted that the move into a new learning environment will add to this experience.

The three graduates also took time on the program to express their joy at meeting their educational challenges.

If smiles are a gauge of joy, three of the happiest people in Utah were on the stand at the Monte Vista Center Thursday night.