PATERSON, NJ – Donning caps and gowns and being feted with all the pomp and circumstance their younger counterparts will be in the coming weeks, 92 students celebrated their graduation from Paterson’s Adult High School Thursday.
According to Paterson Public Schools officials the graduating class is believed to be the largest in the history of the program.
Saying that the diploma they were enarning was “just as real as high school diploma in the Paterson Public School District and the State of New Jersey,” Superintendent Eileen F. Shafer added that the Adult High School was founded upon the idea that there is no one pathway to success in life.
“We are thrilled that there is a growing number of adults in Paterson who are making the decision to pursue their education through our program.”
According to school officials students must be 18 years old or older to enroll at the school and diploma requirements are the same as all other high schools in the district. Because there is no maximum age limit to enroll at the school, officials said, there is a wide range of ages in the school’s graduating classes including this year’s valedictorian, Zakia Jones, in her late 20s, and one of her classmates, Blondie Grant, who has “a couple of decades more life experience.”
“People from all over the world come to Paterson to pursue the American dream,” said Nora Hoover, the school’s principal. “The opportunity to get an education was not available to many of the people where they previously lived. It is a great honor to know that the Adult High School is playing an integral part of its students’ pursuit of a new life in America.”
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