Matthew Ryfczynski, valedictorian (Dothan), and Lindsey Bowden, salutatorian (Eufaula) were recognized during the graduation.
This graduating class was a “family” affair. There were two sets of mother/daughter graduates, one brother and sister team, a husband and wife, and two sisters. Graduating together were husband and wife Tonya and Claude Brown, Jr. (Dothan), sisters Brandy and Lakeisha Jones (Dothan), Jason Archer and his sister Dominique Donley (Dothan), Cassidy Clevinger (Daleville) and her daughter Deanna (Newton), and Patricia Jackson and her daughter Jerrika ShaLese Jackson-Christian (Abbeville). The GED program reaches out to everyone who endeavors to complete their high school credentials, including graduate Catherine Phillips of Dothan who obtained her certificate at age 65.
Keynote speaker Mark Saliba, president of Alfred Saliba Corporation, spoke to the graduates about his own struggles with education. “Choices that you make will significantly alter the course of your lives. Let education become a lifelong journey,” he told the graduates. A graduate of the University of Alabama, Saliba told the graduates of his struggles with dyslexia, and how his family’s support and perseverance helped him overcome the condition. “God has given us different gifts – that’s what makes us unique,” Saliba continued. “You have all had different difficulties and you had the courage to look at yourselves to make changes.
Saliba’s father, Alfred, was instrumental in founding the Alfred Saliba Center for Families. The Saliba Center is a non-profit agency that offers social services at no cost. Their mission is to provide prevention and intervention services to strengthen families to help themselves. WCC offers several GED classes at the Saliba Center.
Linda Watson, director of Adult Education at WCC, applauded the group and their collective work ethic. She reminded the graduates that the GED was the first step to a better education. Wallace offers one class free to GED graduates. Twenty of the GED graduates have already enrolled at WCC to continue their education, and another 23 are planning to enroll.
Wallace Community College offers free GED preparation classes through its adult education program at fourteen locations in Houston, Henry, and Barbour counties. For more information on the program, call (334) 556-2373 in Dothan or (334) 619-3000 in Eufaula.
GED graduates receiving certificates were:
Abbeville: Joshua Haskins, Patricia Glenn Jackson, and Jerrika ShaLese Jackson-Christian; Ashford: Christy Renee Brinson and Brittney Diane Woodham; Clopton: Wyatt Dansby; Columbia: Kimberly Louise Kirkland; Cottonwood: Mary Isbell and Eric L. Kennedy; Daleville: Cassidy S. Clevinger; Dothan: Ayaovi K. Agomessou, Samantha L. Anderson, Jason D. Archer, Ashley Danielle Ashworth, Jared Charles Barefield, Sirmarion J. Beasley, Tonya D. Brown, Claude Brown, Jr., Brandon S. Cole, Dominique Lynee Donley, Dartra Lashae Frazier, Peppi E. Freeman, Searra Nyesha Grubbs, Angelica Hawkins, Michelle Jackson, Jennifer Denise Johnson, Brandy L. Jones, Lakeisha Lanett Jones, Delesias M. Leake, Callie McArdle, Juan Perez Luna, Thelma Pullin, Tabattha Robles-Ruiz, Matthew Ryfczynski, Karen Oshunda Vickers, Amanda L. Walker, and Princess D. Young; Eufaula: Lindsey Bowden, Cynthia J. Daniels, and Macye Angela Pate; Fort Gaines, Ga.: Brittney Diela Jett; Kinsey: Esdras Jeremias Gonzalez; Midland City: Alisha Renea Gilmore, Adrienne Lenee James-Crawford, and Jessica Katelyn Vida; Newton: Deanna M. Clevinger, Ashley Mae Hutson, and Mack Smith; Ozark: Tiffany Renae Madison, Catherine Phillips, and Ingrid M. Rambacher; Troy: Lakisha Nicole Davis; Webb: Crystal L. Angerbrandt.