The Churchill County School District graduated 20 students Thursday night from its Adult Education Diploma Program.
The graduates walked into the high school auditorium with smiles beaming across their face as their family members and friends cheered them on. They walked with pride across the stage to their seats waiting patiently for the phrase they’ve worked so hard for, “I’d like to introduce the class of 2014.”
Arlene Detomasi, director of the adult program, welcomed guests and families of the graduates.
“These students before you have demonstrated a key core belief, despite insurmountable obstacles and challenges that life’s dealt them; they have tenacity,” Detomasi said. “They completed a goal, rising to the challenge, the students have directed and focused their attention on attaining a high school diploma and tonight we want to give them the recognition they so richly deserve.”
Superintendent Dr. Sandra Sheldon gave the students encouraging words of advice for their journey ahead. She said there are six rules that the graduates should follow to be successful: Trust yourself, break some rules, don’t be afraid to fail, ignore the naysayers, work as hard as you can toward your goals and give something back.
“Trust yourself. I’m talking about figuring out what makes you happy no matter how crazy it may sound to other people,” Sheldon said. “This is the stepping stone to any career you wish to pursue. Listen to yourself and determine where you want to go from here.”
Sheldon said break some rules, not the law. She said the graduates don’t have to follow the traditional route for college, butthey should choose the route that works best for them.
“Don’t be afraid to fail,” Sheldon said. “You can’t be afraid to fail, if you’re afraid then you won’t even try. Don’t dwell on what went wrong, instead focus on what to do next, focus your energy on what to do next to find the answer. Don’t worry about failure, worry about the chances you miss when you don’t try.”
Sheldon’s next rule to ignore naysayers meant don’t listen to individuals who want to put you down and who have negative things to say. She said to follow your goals and believe in yourself and that will allow you to succeed.
“Work as hard as you can towards your goals … this is the most important goal of all,” Sheldon said. “Work hard on your goals even if they seem out of reach. It’s never to late to achieve your goals.”
Sheldon said it’s all about giving back. She said it’s important to find time to give back and that helping others has been found in correlation to good health.
“I’m not saying this lightly,” Sheldon said. “I am proud of each and everyone of you and I’m honored to celebrate your accomplishments with you tonight. Remember this is a commencement ceremony — commencement means to begin, congratulations on the beginning of your life.”
Graduate Cheyenne Gearhart was thrilled to have received her diploma.
“I’m relieved to have just graduated,” Gearhart said. “I loved the program and the fact I could complete it at my own pace was great. I’m not sure what is next for me though … I’m still figuring that out.”
Grad Emily Jean Rasnic said she was ecstatic to have her diploma.
“I feel amazing,” Rasnic said. “It was amazing to graduate today, it’s taken me about two years to get my diploma so it was due. I’d like to go to school for cosmetology and to become an OBGYN.”
Graduate Davin Beach said he knows what his future holds.
“I’m happy to have graduated” Beach said. “I’m going to join the Army and become a helicopter mechanic so I can become a helicopter pilot … that’s the best route to do it in the Army. My family is an Army family so I know this is the right path for me.”
Graduates include the following: Carl Barnes, Davin Beach, Zachery Danny-Lundberg, Symantha DeVoss, Cheyenne Gearhart, Rebecca King, Megan Malin, Jhonatan Martinez, Dustin McCoy, Jessica Bailey Maree Mitchell, Christopher Pope, Ashley Pyer, Emily Jean Rasnic, Miguel Rosales, Maria Sanchez, Holly Smirnes, Nicole Sullivan, Derek Thomas, Carrie Ann Werfelman and Trent Workman.