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During School Board Recognition Month this October, we would like to thank the members of the Herkimer BOCES Board of Education for their service and all that they do for BOCES and our students! Thank you to: Daniel LaLonde, Thomas Shypski, Jack Bono, Ronald Loiacono, Janine Lynch, William Miller, James Schmid, Michelle Szarek, Linda Tharp and Daniel Voce!
Herkimer BOCES honors 2016 adult literacy graduates
June 28, 2016

adult education graduates
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult literacy graduates who attended a graduation ceremony on June 13 pose for a picture outside the Herkimer BOCES Remington Educational Complex in Ilion. Pictured from left to right, Keenon Frank, Kelsey Andrews, Denise Smith, Alana Minosh, Tracy Foster and Kera Lamanna.

ILION – As 2016 Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult literacy graduate Kelsey Andrews recalled struggles she overcame along the way to graduation, she said she might have reached the goal sooner if she was met with more encouragement as a younger student instead of doubt.

During her keynote speech at the graduation on Monday, June 13, Andrews told the story of her path before joining the Herkimer BOCES adult education program. Her path included dropping out of high school due to bullying, getting into drugs and alcohol, stopping short on an attempt to go back for a diploma, earning an online high school diploma, going to jail for a few months and attempting to go to college before being told her diploma was fake.

Now that she earned a high school equivalency diploma through Herkimer BOCES, Andrews urged those in attendance to offer encouragement to children whenever they can.

“If I could turn my life around, can you imagine what a kid could do with some encouragement?” she said.

Andrews was one of about 40 local adults to earn their diplomas this school year through Herkimer BOCES adult education programs – taking either the path of the National External Diploma program or the high school equivalency test called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion or TASC.

During her keynote speech, Andrews thanked her Herkimer BOCES teacher Jessica Murphy-Armstrong, her fiancée Sarah Lehman and other friends, family and people who supported her, as well as the overall Herkimer BOCES adult literacy program.

“I couldn’t have done it without this program,” she said.

After the graduation ceremony, Andrews, who is currently working two jobs, said she is looking to go to college for business or massage therapy.

During the ceremony, Herkimer BOCES Board of Education President Daniel LaLonde urged all of the graduates to continue their educations.

“Expand your mind and broaden your heart,” LaLonde said. “Don’t let this be the end. Do great things.”

Herkimer BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Laurie Hedges also shared thoughts with the students.

“Congratulations, graduates,” she said. “You worked so hard.”

Hedges also shared one of her favorite famous quotes about doing something every day that scares you.

“Your courage inspires us all,” she said, to the graduates.

Herkimer BOCES District Superintendent Mark Vivacqua said BOCES is most known for its school-aged programs, but the adult education program is very important to the Board of Education and to the community.

Vivacqua recognized all the hard work and dedication required by the graduates to complete the program. He also thanked BOCES staff for their work helping the students and thanked graduates’ family and friends for their support.

“Congratulations, you have a lot to be proud of tonight,” he said.

Herkimer BOCES Adult, Early Childhood and Outreach Education Director Mary Kline ended the ceremony by continuing her tradition of reading a children’s book that has a strong message for the graduates. This year, she read the book “I Wish You More,” which made some of the graduates emotional with its message of support.

The following is a list of this year’s adult literacy graduates:

National External Diploma graduates:
  • Tresha Christman
  • Dorraine Hanes
  • Alana Minosh
  • Louise Stockigt
  • Jose Torres
  • Jennifer Valenti
  • Edwin Villanueva

High school equivalency graduates:
  • Kelsey Andrews
  • Maya Bowens
  • Dale Bowman
  • Crystal Boyett
  • Daniel Brelinsky
  • Jacob Brown
  • Naomi Collette
  • Mary Creedon
  • Ashley Davis
  • Shane DiStefano
  • Indir Dzamibic
  • Teresa Foder
  • Tracy Foster
  • Keenon Frank
  • Jeremy Frost
  • Jesse Hall
  • Seneca Hall
  • Susan Kot
  • Kera Lamanna
  • T’Keyah LaPlante
  • Daniel Lockwood
  • Travis Murphy
  • Amelia Palmer
  • James Papke
  • Krystal Poveromo
  • Anthony Schaffner
  • Mitchel Shortt
  • Patricia Smith
  • Denise Smith
  • Hannah Smith
  • Miranda Taylor
  • Dina Tedesco

Kelsey Andrews
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult literacy graduate Kelsey Andrews delivers the keynote speech on June 13 during the graduation ceremony at the Herkimer BOCES Remington Educational Complex in Ilion.

adult education graduates
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult literacy graduates sit on stage during their graduation ceremony on June 13 at the Herkimer BOCES Remington Educational Complex in Ilion. Pictured from left to right, Kera Lamanna, Keenon Frank, Denise Smith, Tracy Foster, Kelsey Andrews and Alana Minosh.

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