By Julie Huss
---- — DERRY — The Upper Room honored the Class of 2013 and awarded GED certificates to 29 students in a ceremony May 31.
Graduates gathered in the facility’s side yard to receive diplomas after completing The Upper Room program, a partnership with Pinkerton Academy.
The program gives students a chance to learn and excel, away from a traditional classroom environment.
Upper Room officials credited families and friends for offering a strong support system to students enrolled in the GED program.
Upper Room GED program coordinator Brenda Guggisberg said students overcame many obstacles to get to graduation, and everyone should be commended for their hard work.
“Not only did they make it, but they showed strength despite personal challenges,” Guggisberg said.
Officials also credited the successful partnership with Pinkerton Academy, saying the high school steps out of the box and strives to make sure all students get an education, no matter what the circumstance.
Bill Foye, head of Pinkerton’s Continuing Education program, was a guest speaker. He told the graduates they have come a long way to achieve success, just by taking the steps to earn their GED, and have many different stories and life experiences.
“I am here to celebrate you,” Foye said. “Life is all about choices you make. You make a choice to continue your education at The Upper Room. You made a different choice.”
Foye told graduates what they accomplished with their education should always be celebrated.
“Take your GED certificate and celebrate yourself today and Saturday and Sunday,” Foye said. “I hope on Monday when you wake up you say to yourself ‘What’s my choice today?’ and ‘What’s the next big choice I’m going to make?’”
The Upper Room Class of 2013 includes: Kyle Coombs, Joshua Weirman, Joseph Palermo, Tyler Coombs, Kevin Bemis, Jesse Collins, Monica Teele, Nicholas Willette, Russel Lewis, Alexis Stark, Jonathon Taylor, Michael Devine, Taylor Stimson, Shealynn Santagate, Joseph Wilhelm, Dillon Rodriguez, Anthony Plourde, Meagan Peterson, Jonathan Tryder, Gina Pucillo, Dennis Marion, Nathan Miner, Chelsea Geneau, Joshua Landry, Zachary Calabro, Gianna D’Allessandro, Dylan Borrelli, Adam Nalen and Lindsay Kimball-McInturff.