PSA: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Grenada Adult Education Center

TERI MAY - MAACE NORTH MISSISSIPPI STUDENT OF THE YEAR

Recent HSE graduate and Grenada Adult Education Center (GAEC) student Teri May was selected by the Mississippi Association of Adult and Community Education (MAACE) as Student of the Year representing North Mississippi. Teri was nominated for this honor by one of her instructors, Jonathan Moore. His nomination letter recommending Teri May to MAACE is quoted below.

"We have encountered many different types of students over the years, many of them having already overcome huge obstacles in life before they even cross the threshold of the classroom. Others are often unaware of their own abilities, or capabilities, and discover them in the pursuit of their education. Some, like this particular student, have a unique personality, a dry sense of humor, a cooperative spirit, and drive to be the best. None of that was necessarily obvious when Teri first entered class. Nervous, shy, needing strong emotional support, I was not sure we'd make it through the first class! But having done really well on the pre-test, we encouraged her to enroll in the MiBEST program doing Business Office Technology.

Teri May and Jonathan Moore

Over the next two semesters she excelled in her college classes and one by one she took parts of the HSE test, each time with an excellent score, including College Credit level in Science and Reasoning through Language Arts and College Ready in Social Studies. At our December 2017 Awards Meeting, Teri gave a student testimony. In it she talked about her struggles with agoraphobia (a fear of being out in public and around people) – a battle that for over 10 years defined who she was as a person.

As I listened that day I realized that Teri had fought back and she had won! Even if she never attained her HSE, that moment was a significant victory for her. Of course Teri did indeed obtain her HSE in May of this year as well as her Smart Start Credential with her CRC at the Gold level. Next step is the ACT and then becoming a full-time college student.

Her journey is remarkable and one that I believe deserves to be recognized.. Therefore, it is an honor to nominate Teri May as MAACE student of the year."

Teri's student testimony was delivered at our December Awards Banquet and reprinted in the February edition of the Mississippi Adult Education Newsletter:

"I was asked to come up here tonight and give a speech about myself, but instead I would like to talk about the people here who should be acknowledged for the wonderful work they have done for all of us here. Like everyone here, I came to the Grenada Adult Education Center to get my GED and better myself. The instructors have taught me what I need to know to pass the tests. They have helped me to prepare to attend college, including getting me into the MIBEST program at Holmes.

They have made this a fun, easy, and comfortable learning environment for many people. The attention and dedication to helping the students that I have witnessed from all of the instructors here amazes me. I have rarely seen teachers who care so much, and pay attention to their students the way the instructors here do. Some could say that the smaller classroom sizes could allow them to do that, but that isn't true. Caring, dedication, and the desire to see your students succeed is not something that comes with classroom size. It is something that is the hallmark of a great teacher, and I have never witnessed it in the abundance that I have seen at the Grenada Adult Education Center. For me personally the teachers have taught me many more valuable lessons. As some of you may know I suffer from agoraphobia. My fear of being out in public and around people made this one of the last places I wanted to come.

When I started I had to be forced to come, and I was so afraid. I didn't believe I would be able to handle being here around all of the people. I didn't think I was smart enough, especially not after thirteen years of not being in school. For over a decade I allowed this illness to define me. When asked to go do things I would say, "I can't because I am agoraphobic." I don't say that anymore. The people I have met here have helped teach me to fight back against my illness. Jonathan Moore has taught me that a classroom is not a scary place, especially when you have a wonderful teacher who is as goofy and talkative as you. Carol Hecker who has always been there for me to talk to and encourage me with her words of wisdom like, "suck it up, buttercup." Kenesha Barnes has helped me to figure out MIBEST, and explain things when I get confused. Leisha Smith has taught me to follow my dreams and to not give up on things just because you don't like it.

My family forced me to come here and have been my biggest cheerleaders, sometimes being even more excited by my accomplishments than I have. These are just a few of the people who have touched my life and helped me. I will forever be grateful to all of you here because if it weren't for you I wouldn't have come to truly believe in myself for possibly the first time in my life. Any success I have will always be in part thanks to you, and any failures I have I now know I can handle and not let them prevent me from trying. I will always thank God for bringing you all into my life and giving me so much more than an education. Thank you, all."

For local adults who are ready to strive to meet their personal goals, GAEC Fall Session 1 is beginning soon. Adults age 18 or older and already officially withdrawn from K-12 school may enroll in the free classes at the Grenada Adult Education Center in early August. Call or drop by the Adult Education Center for about 15 minutes between 8:00 a.m. and 1 p.m. (Mon.-Thurs.) on or before August 1st to verify eligibility to enroll.

MORNING CLASSES: Free morning classes will be held on Monday through Thursday mornings from 8:00 a.m. until Noon from beginning on Monday, August 6th, and continuing through September 20th.

AFTERNOON CLASSES: Afternoon classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3:00 until 7:00 p.m. beginning August 2nd and ending on September 20th. Participants should plan to remain until 7:00 PM each Tuesday and Thursday. For more information, visit grenadaliteracy.blogspot.com or call (662) 227-6101.