Hundreds of certificates, diplomas, college degrees earned
By Kevin Kessler, Principal
Valley Adult School
Correctional Training Facility
Hundreds of vocational certifications, GEDs, college degrees and diplomas were awarded during recent graduation ceremonies at the Correctional Training Facility.
On June 18 and 19, CTF-Soledad Facilities A & B held their annual graduation ceremonies in the visiting room for the Class of 2015.
The Career Technical Educational (CTE) and Academic Graduation Ceremonies consisted of 110 visitors, including family, friends and staff, celebrating a wide array of student achievements. There were 35 General Education Development (GEDs) of which two were High School graduates; 11 confirmed college graduates with some multiple degrees, of which 13 were Associates of Arts, four Achievements in Business and General Studies; 199 Vocational certifications were awarded, including 14 Building Maintenance, 15 Carpentry, 18 Electrical works, 34 Electronics, 23 Masonry, 22 HVAC, 16 Plumbing and 57 Computer Literacy certifications.
Dignitaries in attendance were Associate Warden Ms. Marquez, Office of Corrections Education (OCE) Central Regional Assistant Superintendent Jennifer Wynn; Valley Adult School Principal Kevin Kessler and academic teacher Dr. B. Lusk.
AW Marquez shared moving words of inspiration, commending the inmate students’ individual achievements. She mentioned how the graduates acted alone in their decision to go to school and complete their assignments instead of going to the yard for recreation. They faced consequences and overcame adversity, making these decisions, ultimately achieving positive results that nobody can take away from them. She reminded them that it was not subjective, but instead an objective, positive choice they made and they should continue setting goals in life and strive to succeed.
Jennifer Wynn inspired graduates to take their education experience and use it to enter society’s workforce and find employment that suits their individual training.
Principal Kessler commended the graduates for overcoming obstacles and set backs, for remaining focused, working hard, with great effort, and achieving their goals. He encouraged the graduates to continue in the College or CTE Programs. He explained that, due to the abundance of 2014-15 vocational achievements, the CTE graduation ceremony was divided into two individual programs.
Dr. Lusk praised the graduates, congratulating them on their success and reminding them of the graduation theme, “The obstacles of your past can become the gateways that lead to new beginnings. The secret of success is to be ready when your opportunity comes.”
The success of the academic and GED programs have had a positive effect on the institution. The sense of accomplishment (sometimes the first achieved on one’s own) gives the graduate a new-found confidence in their abilities. The graduation will air on the institution television network in the coming weeks.