Graduating from high school fulfills a dream for many students, but it is only the beginning of dreams that are bigger and better, according to a graduate of the Alpine Adult High School.
"The future really does belong to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams," said Susan Bartholomew, in repeating the graduation theme - the words of Eleanor Roosevelt - at the school's graduation Wednesday.Diplomas were awarded to 158 graduates in the ceremony at Pleasant Grove Junior High School. The Class of 1990 was the first from the adult high school to walk with caps and gowns.
Bartholomew, a 47-year-old mother of seven, said, "I have waited for this dream for a long time. As you can see, I believed and the dream has come true. If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it."
Student speaker Linda Newell, also a mother of four, said, "We have achieved the reward of our efforts through the persistence that paid off. It has been an enriching, worthwhile experience that I will value and remember throughout my life."
Petrea West, representing the teachers, advised students to "let the actualization of your dreams of graduation ignite all other dreams you've held in reserve."
Student speaker Lisa Blake said each person has experienced the storms and turbulence in life and many find the inner power to rise above whatever lies ahead in the journey of life.
"You can make a difference. You are important. When we catch that vision it becomes a part of our life and very belief."
The graduating class was the largest in the program's history with the youngest graduate being age 17 and the oldest being 70. The class included several brother-sister, sister-sister combinations as well as father-son teams.
"You see before you a potpourri of dreams and goals all culminating in this historic occasion with a cap and gown," said Jennie Barber, director of the continuing education program. "They have met challenges with dignity and determination to overcome."
Richard Gappmayer, Alpine School Board president, encouraged students to continue their education. "This should not be the end of your education, but only the beginning. If you want to improve yourself, there is no better way than an education. Education is the road to a better life for all of us."
Gary V. Keetch, assistant superintendent over secondary education, awarded GED certificates, and Gappmayer awarded diplomas to the students.
Musical numbers were performed by graduates Julie Neil, Terry Sudweeks and Sharri Spencer. Graduate Catherine Brown welcomed guests to the ceremony.