GED grads have plans for the future

The largest class of graduates in Boyle County received their General Education Development (GED) diplomas Friday afternoon. And they were reminded that many famous people have also earned a GED — Jim Carey, Christian Slater, Eminem, Nicholas Cage, Paris Hilton, 50 Cent, Jay Z, Beyonce, Dave Thomas, Michael J. Fox, Christina Applegate, Peter Jennings and Lindsay Lohan. 

Surrounded by family, friends and staunch education supporters, 11 people with a variety of future career plans proudly walked into the fellowship hall at The First Presbyterian Church of Danville wearing traditional black robes and hats. They listened as they were introduced to the audience by teacher Beth Leahey.

  • D.J. Alcorn holds the record as the fastest GED finisher, Leahy said. On the first day he came in and took the four GED Ready Tests. The very next day he successfully completed the four GED subject tests. “What stands out is his drive to meet his goal quickly to make himself eligible for a job,” Leahey said.
  • Anna Ballew studied for her GED while working part-time. “I am most proud of Anna for learning to believe in herself and for setting such a good example for her little girls, Sam and Maddie.” In January, Ballew will begin studying to become a medical massage therapist.
  • Marie Cadet “encouraged others daily — both by her kind words to them and her own patient determination. She will be the first to tell you that her faith makes all things possible.”
  • Alexus Dillion, “is our overcomer,” Leahey said. “She is a young woman willing to work hard despite challenges.” Also, her grandparents “have been a guiding force along this path.”
  • Patricia Franklin, “brought with her strong reading skills, as well as an eagerness to learn,” Leahey said, adding that they “took on algebra and geometry together.”
  • Ginger Gunter, who recently earned her GED will be joining her daughter as a college student. She plans on becoming a school counselor, Leahey told the crowd.
  • Amanda Hasty returned to the GED program after several years away. “She is a practical person who knew from the beginning that earning money is important, but that getting more education opened up possibilities.”
  • Danielle Maggard, “walked into our class at the public library ready to earn her GED,” Leahey said. Now that she has earned that degree, she’s already doing substitute teaching “and we suspect that she won’t stop there.”
  • Jarred Phelps is the second person in his family to earn a GED through the program in Danville. “We knew it would be a good adventure from day one, when be brought in a copy of a sci-fi story he had published.”
  • Tracey Porter is focused on reaching her dream of owning a food truck. When you see “Tracey’s Wraps and Snacks, you’ll know who’s at the helm.”
  • Cassie Ramirez worked on her GED for a year, by attending Monday night classes at the Boyle County Public Library, while also working full-time in various factories. “Throughout the process, she gained self-confidence and has aspirations of continuing her education.”
  • Margaret Singleton was not able to complete her GED due to health issues. However, she was honored as a “graduate of lifelong learning,” Leahey said. “One of my favorite memories from teaching will always be the day that I left the room with one student, and came back to find Margaret at the board instructing the others in long division.”