Returning Students Told to Work Hard as They Start Life with a High School Diploma

"We conqurered," graduation speaker Dawn Brown told her classmates as they prepared to receive their high-school diplomas.    Credits: Photos by Bob Jones
The South Plainfield Adult High School Class of 2014

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ – Twelve adult students who returned to school to get their high school diplomas saw their goal become a reality Tuesday night when they graduated from the school district’s adult high school.

“We conquered,” Dawn Brown told her fellow classmates as she gave the graduating class’s commencement speech. Brown thanked the adult high school, saying the program helped the students pursue their dreams.  “You saw the potential in all of us,” she told her teachers.

While addressing the graduates, the night’s speakers all seemed to focus on the same theme: hard work.  Assistant Superintendent of Schools Nicole Pormilli told the group they learned important life skills because they made getting a high-school diploma a priority and worked hard to obtain it.

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“When things come easy we often do not learn the important skills and values in obtaining them,” Pormilli said. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stephen Genco echoed this thought.  “Success is a choice,” he told the graduates.  “Everyone wants to be successful but few are willing to do everything in their power—all the intangible acts—to guarantee success.”

The graduates are no strangers to hard work.  According to Ann Snee, who heads the program, the returning students not only went to class, studied, and took tests, but juggled full lives outside the classroom by raising children, working, and looking for jobs. 

Mayor Matt Anesh told the graduates they would continue to find success through this type of hard work.  But he said there is no secret recipe to success.  “It’s an unknown combination of hard work, the right skill set, and a keen sense of being in the right place at the right time.” 

Anesh also had this advice for the group:  “Leverage your support structure, continue to add to it, study hard, work hard, and don’t settle for less than you know you can accomplish.”  

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