By STEVEN NALLEY
Emerson Family School will hold its GED graduation ceremony Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Greensboro Center.
Jean Ann Foxworth, Adult Basic Education and GED instructor with Emerson, said the ceremony is open to the public, including family, friends, and current students. A reception upstairs for graduates and guests will immediately follow the ceremony, Foxworth said.
Another ABE and GED instructor with Emerson, Amanda Page, said each graduate will receive a monetary award from the Starkville-Oktibbeha Achieving Results Foundation, an affiliate of Tupelo’s CREATE Foundation. The graduation ceremony, like all GED programs, is part of the Starkville School District’s Family-Centered Programs.
“This school year we’ve had 230 students at all skill levels from basic skills to GED reading, but we’ve had 40 graduates that got their GED with us this year,” Page said. “Not all walk in the graduation, not all want to participate in the ceremony, but we do have a really great group, all ages, all different backgrounds.”
Unlike traditional schools, Page said, Emerson remains open through the summer, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Friday. Foxworth said the GED program’s academic year starts July 1 and ends June 30, so the graduation ceremony is scheduled to roughly coincide with the end of the academic year. However, she said, students graduate from the GED program all throughout the year, and anyone who has graduated within the past year is allowed to participate.
“We have some that have been here as long as two or three years (and) some that were just here this year,” Foxworth said.
Oktibbeha County Circuit Clerk Glenn Hamilton is set to speak at the ceremony, Foxworth said, and so is one of the graduates, Da’Shanta West. Speaking opportunities are open for any graduates who want them, she said.
“(West is) a very vivacious young lady,” Foxworth said. “She’s very excited about speaking. Another graduate’s mother is going to do some music for us.”