They are grandmothers, middle-age breadwinners and young newlyweds. They are headed for college, the armed services or toward a better job to support their families.
The common denominator Wednesday night at Adult High School graduation was pride of accomplishment. For some of the 114 graduates, getting a diploma was a life's dream come true.Darl Ellett Brown said he learned the value of a diploma when he suddenly was turned down for a job he was sure he would get.
"When I admitted I didn't have a diploma, the boss put down his pen and the interview was over. Ever since that happened, I decided getting a diploma would be my highest priority. If you want to be a success in life, you have to have some schooling behind you."
"Being able to reach a goal you have worked so hard for is the best thing in the world," graduate Ann Johnson said. "When all the doors seemed closed, Adult High School opened a window for me."
Gaylene Tolman said Adult High School was just what she needed.
"I feel I learned more in my assisted study than in the rest of my education. Traditional high school is not the answer to everyone's dreams. Recently on the news they quizzed high school students on current events. I was proud I could answer every question because of assisted studies."
Graduate Barbara Draper said she hopes others will learn the importance of education.
"Many people are held back by the stigma of not having gotten their diploma earlier. They should remember the past cannot be changed, but the future can be whatever you want it to be."
The graduates ranged in age from 18 to 66, and among them have 73 children, 48 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. The class included two married couples. In addition to the diplomas, 73 equivalency certificates were awarded.
Adult High School is the Alpine School District's assisted home-study program where credit is awarded for competency.