JULY 2018

SJR State honors adult education graduates

instructors Richard Jones, Jr. and Marcia Redding Sanders present Whisper McQuaig and Shana Middleton with an SJR State scholarship.
2018 Adult Ed graduates

St. Johns River State College honored Adult Education graduates who recently earned the General Education Development (GED) diploma. “Guys, we did it!" exclaimed student speaker Sylvia Moody. Loud cheers and a resounding applause followed.

“Tonight, we celebrate the completion of a journey,” said Moody. “We celebrate how far we have come; we celebrate that we are overcomers; and we celebrate the bright future that lies ahead. No matter how many challenges we faced, no matter how many times we fell down, we got back up again, kept going, and we finally made it.”

With a vision of the future, commencement speaker Tangie Archer said, “Looking out at these front two rows, I see our future. I see leaders; I see advocates; I see elected officials… You all have laid that cornerstone and foundation you need to excel and achieve anything… And don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t,” she firmly stated.

Like the graduates, Archer once traveled the journey of an Adult Education student. She went on to receive her A.A. degree from SJR State and received the Association of Florida College’s 2017 LeRoy Collins Distinguished Alumni “Against the Odds” Award. She is currently working on two additional degrees while serving at the Lee Conlee House as a court advocate.

With all eyes fixed on her, Archer shared her challenges of raising five children as a single parent living below the poverty line and surviving domestic abuse. She urged the graduates to believe in their capabilities, regardless of former, current or future challenges. “I would encourage you to continue to dream. Don’t just stop here,” she said.

During the ceremony, Adult Education instructors Richard Jones, Jr. and Marcia Redding Sanders presented SJR State scholarships to Whisper McQuaig and Shana Middleton for their individual, academic and career-planning goals, achieving honors scores on the GED exam, and an essay.

Dean of Adult Education Melissa Perry, Ed.D., congratulated the graduates on their commitment and perseverance. “To the graduates, we celebrate your dedication, your persistence, your grit and your hard work,” she said. “We recognize the many hours and sacrifices that each of you faced in pursuit of your goal… You have persevered; you have conquered. All of you are overcomers. As GED graduates, you have completed a very crucial milestone toward realizing your education and career goals.”

Citing Harriett Tubman, Perry continued, “You have within you the strength, the patience and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world.”

SJR State’s Adult Education program prepares students to earn a Florida high school diploma through the GED program. The program consists of self-paced and computer-assisted instruction, use of textbooks and handouts, and dedicated, qualified instructors. Registration for the test prep classes is ongoing.

The GED exam is computer-based and includes four subject areas. Test-takers may take up to two subject areas per day, and the cost of the exam is $32 per subject area. The exam is administered on SJR State’s Palatka campus on Mondays from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. and Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

GED registration and payment is available online or by telephone at 877-392-6433. For more information, call the Adult Education department at 386-312-4080, or visit the website at

Two SJR State Adult Education students receive SJR State scholarships. From left Adult Education instructor Richard Jones, Jr.; Whisper McQuaig; Shana Middleton; and Adult Education instructor Marcia Redding Sanders.

Putnam County residents recently participated in the Adult Education graduation at St. Johns River State College. The graduates received their State of Florida high school diploma through SJR State's GED testing center this academic year.



Susan Kessler
Director of Public Relations and Publications
(386) 312-4020