On June 28, the Newport Community Education Center held its summer graduation at the Newport Country Club Restaurant and Pub. Families and friends of the graduates packed the restaurant's dining room to witness the ceremony and celebration.
Mercedes Pour-Previti, coordinator of Academic Services at CCV's Newport campus, addressed the audience, reminding everyone to take advantage of opportunities when they present themselves and to keep up the pace with regard to the next step. "You can take today off and perhaps even tomorrow, but don't slow down now that you have earned your high school diploma," Pour-Previti said. She ended her address with an appeal "to pay forward," explaining that the graduates can now begin to take on a supportive role for those students who struggle with life's challenges as they try to complete their high school studies.
Michelle Tarryk, executive director of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services was in attendance as well as NEKLS board member Barry Moore. Both of them very much enjoyed the family-like atmosphere during the ceremony. Moore specifically liked how Center Manager Markus Vogt introduced each of the graduates individually at the beginning of the proceedings. "It gave us in the audience a wonderful opportunity to get to know the students on a more personal level," Moore said. The diplomas were presented by High School Completion Plan Manager Amanda Pruden and Adult Diploma Program Assessor Suzanne Pelletier.
All in all, 35 students received either their high school diploma or their GED certificate through the Newport Community Education Center this spring. In addition, the center graduated 23 students during its winter graduation back in February. Among all five of NEKLS's Education Centers (Newport, St. Johnsbury, Hardwick, Canaan and Island Pond), approximately 120 area residents receive their secondary credential each year.
Information about any of the programs and services offered by NEKLS can be found at www.neklsvt.org.