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Herkimer BOCES honors 2017 adult literacy graduates
June 16,  2017




Adult education graduates pose outside the Herkimer BOCES WEB Complex
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult literacy graduates who attended a Graduate Recognition Program on Wednesday, June 14, pose for a picture outside the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer. From left: Anthony Castillo, Kevin Crane, Annaliese Pasquale, Cassandra Barnes, John King, Khadejah Clemente, Jessenid Rodriguez and Theresa Dupuis.



HERKIMER – Thirty-three local adults recently earned their diplomas through the Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult education program.

Herkimer BOCES Chief Operating Officer James Picolla told the adult students at their graduation that deciding to go back to school is one of the bravest things they could do.

“You should be proud of yourself,” Picolla said. “Congratulations, all of you.”

Students who graduated from either taking the National External Diploma program or the high school equivalency test called the Test Assessing Secondary Completion or TASC were honored at the Adult Literacy Graduate Recognition Program on Wednesday, June 14, at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.

High school equivalency graduate Annaliese Pasquale gave the keynote speech during the ceremony – noting it was the first speech she has ever given in front of more than three people. Pasquale talked about anxiety being something she deals with at all times.

When anxiety grips her and her heart races, she stays determined to not let it prevent her from taking opportunities such as going back to school to earn her diploma or give the graduation speech, she said.

“I can’t let anxiety or anything else stop me from what I want to do with my life,” she said.

Pasquale talked about her upbringing and high-school experiences, discussed the question of the meaning of life and said life can get you down, but you have to overcome your doubt.

“I think it’s about finding out who you are,” she said.

Following the ceremony, other graduates spoke with Pasquale about how they related to her struggles battling anxiety. Pasquale said during the speech that overcoming anxiety is a step-by-step process, and she expects college will be in her future.

“Now that I’ve graduated, I want to see where life takes me next,” she said.

During the ceremony, Herkimer BOCES Board of Education member Thomas Shypski also spoke to graduates.

“Congratulations, and good luck in the future,” Shypski said.

Herkimer BOCES Adult, Early Childhood and Outreach Education Director Mary Kline spoke to graduates and continued her tradition of reading a children’s book that has a strong message for the graduates by reading “I Wish You More.”

Herkimer BOCES Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Laurie Hedges closed the event by sharing some thoughts with the graduates and asking the graduates’ families and friends in attendance to take a moment to thank each other for helping the graduates along their journeys.

“Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the graduates of 2017,” she said.

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

National External Diploma graduates:
  • Gary Bandel Jr.
  • Cortney Foti
  • Danielle Murrieta

High school equivalency graduates:
  • Stephen Ammermann
  • Cassandra Barnes
  • Chloe Bryant
  • Anthony Castillo
  • Khadejah Clemente
  • Elizabeth Collette
  • Garth Coveny
  • Kevin Crane
  • Noah Curriere
  • Theresa Dupuis
  • Trevor Frazier
  • Tylan Gee
  • Kristen Gray
  • Ryan Hibbard
  • Kalianne Jackson
  • John King
  • Cody Lewter
  • Shana Mankouski
  • Michelle McGurk
  • Tyler Moerler
  • Christopher Murray
  • Annaliese Pasquale
  • Kamyrn Perez
  • Chad Pollard
  • Daniel Powers
  • Jessenid Rodriguez
  • Andrea Sanzo
  • Reggie Sullivan
  • Kayleigh Sweet
  • Shaquita Washington


Adult education graduate gives a speech on stage as other graduates look on
Herkimer-Fulton-Hamilton-Otsego BOCES adult literacy graduate Annaliese Pasquale delivers the keynote speech on Wednesday, June 14, during the graduation ceremony at the Herkimer BOCES William E. Busacker Complex in Herkimer.




 
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