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SOUTH PARK ACADEMY: 36 AT PRISON TOLD TO SEEK OUT POSITIVE RELATIONSHIPS

A high school diploma represents a very important measure of success, Sen. David H. Steele, R-Roy, told a group of graduates who accomplished that success against great odds.

Steele addressed the graduates of South Park Academy, the Utah State Prison education program operated by Jordan District. He challenged them to continue to seek out positive relationships with others and to value the opportunities for education provided them.He congratulated 24 high school graduates and 12 others who completed general education equivalency programs. Also honored during the rites at the prison was Roland Charles Pitt, who received a doctorate in musical arts from the University of Texas-Austin.

Pitt said he had given up all hope of getting his advanced degree after entering prison, but with the help of prison officials, he was able to complete the work that culminated in Wednesday's presentation.

Student speaker Jobita Esquivel said earning her diploma gives her an opportunity to set a good example for her family, including her children. Also speaking on behalf of the class was Kurvin Gordan.

Johnnie Owen Wade was honored as the Outstanding Student of 1990 and received a plaque as a memento of that recognition. He complimented those who helped him to understand the value and importance of an education.

Ralph J. Haws, administrator of special programs for Jordan District, accepted the class, and diplomas were presented by Linda G. Neff, a member of the Jordan Board of Education.