BROOKVILLE – As “Pomp and Circumstance” played on a sound system and about 50 attendees shushed, on June 26, 10 casually dressed adults filed into Room 203 of the Franklin County Government Center, which was adorned with flowering plants for the occasion when they would be declared high school graduates.
Polly Brown, Cedar Grove, one of two Adult Basic Education instructors at the Brookville site and the River Valley Resources adult literacy coordinator for Franklin County, explained the High School Equivalency (HSE) test, formerly called the GED (General Educational Development), “is changing for the teachers and the students. The state raised the bar very, very high.”
After students study reading, English, social studies, science and math, they undergo seven hours of testing over two days.
“What a neat group of people,” said Brown, beaming. “I loved doing it.”
The graduates were called up to the podium one by one so the instructors could talk about their efforts. Judy Siebert, Brookville, said she was “so impressed” when Versie and Marcus Holland, Laurel, showed up for classes together. She told the woman, “What a good role model to bring your son with you.” The teacher recalled, “We were studying on days off and Fridays.” The mother also fulfilled her goal of getting a Certified Nursing Assistant designation after classes in Connersville.
Siebert reported when Ashley Robinson, Brookville, was 17 and a new mother, “it was too much to finish school.” With her husband a servicemember in the Middle East, Robinson would drive to Batesville so her mom could baby-sit, work at Wendy’s here, then drive to Brookville for class and back to Batesville to pick up the baby. “She only needed three hours of classwork to get the diploma,” but had a lot of homework.
Teresa Blum told her teacher, “A job is being held for me, but I have to get this first.” She was in the classroom for 100 hours “and she worked diligently.”