A total of 72 students were recognized for completing the Adult Basic Education (ABE) Program at Southwest Texas Junior College, during the 19th Regional GED Commencement Ceremony held Jan. 26 in Uvalde.
SWTJC Associate Dean of Workforce Training and Adult Basic Education Romelia Aranda was master of ceremonies at the event in the Matthews Student Center Ballroom. After welcoming parents, relatives, dignitaries, staff and SWTJC board vice-president Dr. Harry O. Watkins, Aranda introduced Uvalde ABE site supervisor Norma Berrones who delivered the invocation.
Keynote speaker was Maria Elena Daniel-Cristerna, M.Ed., SWTJC-ABE Maverick County site supervisor. A GED graduate herself, Cristerna earned her B.A. degree from Sul Ross State University in 1992. She went on to receive her master's degree in education for Sul Ross in 2002.
Cristerna has received various recognitions and accolades for her lifetime of achievement and service to the Eagle Pass community. She plans to retire this June after 25 years of dedicated service to the SWTJC ABE Program.
"I know exactly how you feel," Cristerna told the graduates. "I know because I once sat as a GED graduate just like you are sitting here today."
Cristerna encouraged the graduates to continue their education. "The key to your future success is through education," she said. "May faith point you and guide your path through future obstacles on your road to success."
Following the keynote address, associate dean Aranda gave special recognition to Graciela De Leon Esparza, Enrique Jimenez, Nerissa Ramirez and Gloria Rosca for completing their GED instruction through the new online distance learning program now available through SWTJC.
Aranda and SWTJC Vice President of Student Services Dr. Blaine Bennett presented certificates of completion to all graduates in attendance. Graduates were from SWTJC sites in Hondo, Crystal City, Del Rio, Eagle Pass and Uvalde.
Uvalde graduates include Megan Aguero, Ronald Babb, Claudia Cervantes, Angela Cole, Graciela De Leon Esparza, Esteban Flores, Daryl Ehler, Brenda Garcia, Mireya Garza, Monica Garza, Sarah Gonzalez, Jacob Haby, Maria Hernandez and Nicholas Hernandez.
Other Uvalde graduates are Enrique Jimenez, Jeremiah Johnson, Allison Lashley, Briana Methvin, Clay Neely, Antonia Ortiz, Josue Pena, Norma Rincon, Rogelio Rincon, Humberto Rodriguez, Griselda Sanchez, Agustin Uriegas, Rey Ybarra and Desica Zamarripa.
Crystal City graduates include Julia Alonzo, Jeffrey Garcia, Crystal Gonzalez, Evelyn Navejar, Nerissa Ramirez, Marcie Rodriguez and Isamari Urrabazo.
Del Rio graduates include Blanca Carrizales, Jorge Castillo, Vanessa Cruz, Juanita Galindo, Sophia Genera, Daysi Hernandez, Vanessa Hernandez, Jessica Martinez, Jesus Juarez, Marili Portillo, Javier O. Ramirez, Gloria Rosca, Carlos Salinas, Sean Smitch, Jessica Smith and Silvia Valenzuela.
Eagle Pass graduates include Crystal Aguilera, Rosa Almaguer, Heather Almanza, Maria Chapa, Patricia Gaona, Pedro Garcia, Luis Gonzalez, Anahi Gutierrez, Genesis Lombrana, Briana Martinez, Michael Martinez, Abisag Monsivais, Adrian Ortiz, Zenia Ramirez, Gilbert Sanchez, Idalia Sandoval, Izzabely Trevino, Alejandra Villarreal and Jose Villegas.
Hondo graduates include Angelina Koch and Beatrice Serrano.
Following the ceremony, a reception was held in the Matthews Student Center for graduates, their families and guests.
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