Although a traditional graduation ceremony was unable to be offered this year, 30 students obtained their West Virginia high school equivalency diplomas from March 13 to Oct. 3, 2020, at the Jackson County center.

This achievement is particularly impressive in a year that saw traditional instruction come to a halt due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Much of the teaching was done virtually online, through social media, and with workbooks being sent home.

Students resumed in-person attendance on July 1, but new restrictions and procedures were put in place.

Carla Mullins, adult education instructor, said the number of students graduating sets a record.

“This is the most students I’ve ever had, in a seven-month period, to earn their degree,” she said. “I’m so proud of them, and also of the West Virginia Adult Education program. A lot of effort was put forth to work with students during this time.”

Students take a practice test before taking the high school equivalency assessment. Working at their own pace, Mullins says it takes anywhere from months to years to earn the degree.

“It doesn’t matter how long it takes,” she said. “I’m here to support and encourage them along this journey.”

2020 Adult Education graduates pictured include Noah Boggess, Kira Cain, Desirae Crist, Giovanna Fradella, Laura Jackson, Mark Jackson Jr., Kaycee King, Cody Mullins, Lauren Nichols, Dylan Pautz, Mary Rutledge, Makayla Ryan, Aubreyana Shaffer, Amber Smith (WV Adult Education Association Student of the Year), Cyndall Stephenson, and Natasha Wiseman. Adult Education Graduates not pictured: Gabriel Allen, Che Butler II, Jakob Comer, Sidney Duckworth, Kalob Farrell, Amanda Krause, Steven Martin, Chance Milhoan, and Ethan Weekley.

All 30 students will be given the opportunity to participate in the 2021 graduation ceremony in June.

For information on the free adult education program, contact Mullins at 304-373-0233.