After reopening the Marysville School for Adults in September 2022, the Marysville Joint Unified School District held its first official graduation ceremony for adult students on Tuesday.
A total of five students have successfully completed the requirements for either a GED or high school diploma through the program. However, only one student was able to attend the ceremony.
Director of Adult Programs and Community Partnerships Bob Eckardt said that life and busy schedules are often difficult to work around for adults continuing their education. Antonio Tapia Martinez received his high school diploma with his wife and 6-year-old daughter by his side.
Tapia was among the first students to join the School for Adults in September. Having “gotten into trouble” throughout high school, he saw the adult school program as an opportunity to continue his education and propel his career.
Tapia said that he has worked in vineyard maintenance for much of his adult life, and with his diploma, he hopes to study agriculture and further develop his line of work. He also plans to join the military in the future.
“It feels good to have your degree. It’s given me more motivation to keep going,” he said.
Eckardt presented Tapia with his diploma and named the other graduates to the district Board of Trustees. Adela Gomez Cortes, Enrique Garcia, Jose Magaña and Jose De Dios were the remaining adult school graduates, Eckardt said.
"Reopening the Adult Education Program was a priority for me when I joined this district in 2021, so I am thrilled to be able to celebrate our first graduates," said Superintendent Fal Asrani. "We are always working hard to create opportunities that meet the needs of our community."
High school diploma and GED programs are the most utilized tracks in the School for Adults, he said. Eckardt believes that an adult student’s choice to return to school is especially remarkable due to the challenges they face juggling school with adult responsibilities.
“High school students want their diploma and they want to be in school, but as teenagers, they have to be there. For somebody who wasn’t able to achieve that for any reason, they are making that conscious choice to be here,” he said.
The Marysville School for Adults was reintroduced to the district after being inactive for 10 years, the Appeal previously reported. Asrani previously said that offering resources to adult students in the community was a natural progression of the education system.
Students in the adult education program can participate in courses to advance their education, language skills and citizenship status. English as a second language, financial literacy, GED preparation, citizenship and naturalization classes and other courses to help students obtain a high school diploma are all offered under the program.
Eckardt said that the school is preparing to introduce parenting workshops and Career Technical Education classes such as welding to the list of courses.
Another graduation ceremony for the Marysville School for Adults will be held in the spring, he said. Following this, the school will continue to hold one ceremony each year to celebrate adult students from each school session.