Sixty-eight adult students were honored at Questar III’s annual Adult/Continuing Education Graduation ceremony June 14 at Ichabod Crane High School. The ceremony recognized students who had completed the High School Equivalency (HSE) or English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.
ESOL graduate Elly Tak, who is originally from South Korea, spoke about her career as a flight attendant for Korea Air, and how her job required her to know English. Tak earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Korea, but she said she was always looking to learn to speak English better and improve her life. Through her classmates, she said she was able to learn about many other cultures. She thanked teacher John Parker and offered her classmates a piece of advice.
“Never stop learning and exploring your interests. Never forget this moment. It is the beginning of a new chapter in your life,” Tak said.
HSE graduate Rebecca Moses, who also spoke at the ceremony, said after falling on some hard times, and actually living in her van for a time, Questar III was “the best thing that ever happened to me.” She said she was in and out of several schools and it just wasn’t working for her.
“I was at Questar for a long time, it was like doing high school all over again. Every time when I thought I had my foot ahead, I got knocked back. I took the test a bunch of times and always failed the math. I kept saying I wasn’t going to give up. Finally, I took the test again and when I saw the papers in the mail I thought I wasn’t going through this again that I’d come back again and again, but I didn’t have to because I passed,” Moses said.
She said she was so excited to finally pass, that she enrolled in college at Schenectady County Community College for music and plans to try out for “The Voice,” a reality TV singing competition on NBC.
Katie Keeler, also an HSE graduate, said she had the motivation to finish the program because of her kids.
“I just want to show my children a way of life that’s the right way,” Keeler said.
Questar III Deputy Superintendent Matt Sloane and Board of Education member Edmond Brooks also spoke to the graduates about the accomplishment they’ve achieved and congratulated the Class of 2016 for all their hard work.
Congratulations to all the graduates of the Class of 2016!