This Aragon resident, who left school at age 16 to marry, was recognized during the 29th annual GED Graduation and Awards Ceremony at the Polk Campus of Coosa Valley Technical College (CVTC) last Tuesday night.
She was honored for “receiving high honors” along with Brittany Puckett, Daniel Snider, Mitchell Kimball and Karyl Garrett. She also received a citizenship award in addition to Wanda Gilbert, Rebecca Smith and Lisa Snider.
Awards from News Publishing Company (Cedartown Standard and Rockmart Journal) were presented to Brittany Puckett, Language Arts Reading and Daniel Snider, Language Arts Writing.
Gentry considered returning to class about 10 years ago. However, this idea was dismissed when her husband Phillip had a massive heart attack.
“I was about to lose my job when I finally decided to get my GED,” she said. “I am so thankful I did. I have learned it is never too late to get an education.”
Lisa Snider, 42, Rockmart, said she believed her life was over before she decided to get an education. “I was a stay at home mom for 22 years before I decided to get a job,” she explained. “I had never worked outside the home and felt it was time I did.”
She returned to school, attained her GED and enrolled in classes at CVTC after deciding she would enter the nursing field. “I am now in my third quarter here,” she said. “If I can return to class and get my GED, anyone can.”
Finding a better job also initiated a return to class by Michael Williams, Aragon. He has received his GED and will soon begin his second quarter at CVTC.
He previously worked in the construction industry. “With the housing market and economic slow, I decided to go into the medical field,” he said.
Williams said his decision was due, in part, to support from his wife Karla and mother Imogene. “They both kept encouraging me to go back to school,” he said. “Now, I am glad I did.”
Dottie Gregg, Polk Campus Manager, CVTC, welcomed the graduates and crowd attending the ceremony.
She focused on the achievement of each graduate and defined their decision to return to school as wise.
“You have come a long way since the first day you entered this building,” she said. “By graduating, you have allowed yourself to put aside a road block you have had since you left high school.”
She reminded that employers want people with a job skill and encouraged each individual to continue their education. “This will make a difference in your life and that of your family,” she concluded.
Susan W. Hackney, Executive Director, CVTC Adult Education, called the ceremony the promise of things to come for the graduates.
She also expressed prise in accomplishments and encouraged each each one to continue their education.
Craig McDaniel, President, CVTC, talked of his participation in meetings about budget cuts when he was reminded of the uplifting experience of a GED graduation ceremony.
“Of all the things we do, there is nothing that has more meaningful than what you have accomplished,” he said.
He encouraged the graduates to serve as a role model and influence to others. “Your children will watch what you do more than listen to what you say,” he said. “You have a great opportunity to go anywhere you want to go from Polk County. With an education, you can control your future. If you don’t - someone else will.”
Andrew Bell, Jillian Black, Carrie Blevens, Robert Bowman, Victoria Brewer, Jose Cervantes,
Donteshia Chisom, Ariel Crocker, Tiffany Escutia, John Fain,
Jennifer Gammage, Karyl Garrett, Nancy Gentry, Scott Gentry,
Wanda Gilbert, Drey Gonzalez, Ashlei Goss, Brandy Green, Sarah Haase, Benjamin Hobbs,
Tiffani Holbrook, Larry Hunt, Mitchell Kimball, Samantha Kimball, Amanda Lipscomb,
Kimberly Nunez, Dustin Putnal, Jerran Rowland, Charles Sherman,
Christopher Pyles, Rebecca Smith, Lisa Snider, Michael Williams,
Sam Willoughby, Alexander Wilson, Justin Shaw and Tiffany Wheeler.
State Rep. Rick Crawford also presented Jay LeGrande with a resolution in recognition of his work in the community and Coosa Valley Technical College.