Norwich - Despite her pride and sense of accomplishment at having earned her high school diploma, Roseleine Desius nearly skipped Thursday's adult education graduation ceremony.
Adult education graduates wear shiny maroon gowns. Desius, a Haitian native, vowed to wear only dull colors for two years since her mother, Roseleine Desius, died in Haiti in February 2011. But her teachers knew that Desius was to receive the $500 Marie A. Peloquin Scholarship Award given to a student planning to attend Three Rivers Community College.
So they found her a plain black graduation gown. With a broad smile that barely dimmed throughout the ceremony, Desius marched with her 94 fellow graduates for the 40th annual Norwich Regional Adult Education graduation ceremony at Kelly Middle School Auditorium.
This school year has been a whirlwind for Desius, 44, who moved to Norwich eight years ago from Florida to join her husband, Marc Jean, who was working at the Foxwoods Resort Casino. In March, Desius appeared before the Norwich Board of Education with her 7-year-old son to be recognized as one of four Connecticut Adult and Continuing Education Award recipients in the state.
Desius actually already is a student at Three Rivers, along with working at the Fairview nursing home in Groton.
Adult Education graduation brought many diverse stories to the stage, as graduates described how they had to put off their education when "life intervened." Katie Sizer told her teachers she never got through high school because she moved around a lot and never settled into a program. She sure settled at Norwich Adult Education, said Director Mary Berry in announcing her award.
Sizer first enrolled in four daytime classes and two night classes last fall. She earned all As. She cut back the next semester to four classes, again all As. The nearly full house in the auditorium was ready to erupt into applause for those accomplishments when Berry added that Sizer plans to join the U.S. Marine Corps. The applause echoed.
Samantha Tucker, 28, took the podium a short time later to explain her struggles in getting through high school while raising five children, now ranging in age from 5 to 20. She thanked "my beautiful wife, Erin M. Tucker" for taking on the daily tasks of dealing with the kids, paying bills and keeping house while she stuck it out in school all the way through graduation Thursday.
"Without my family, I would not have made it," Samantha Tucker said.
General Education Development (GED) graduates:
Amber L. Allard, Craig D. Bessette, David Bright, Christopher S. Brown, Julienne M. Browne, Jolyno O. Burgett, Gladys E. Caban, Alexander Cardoso, Alecia R. Chaney, Sally Chung, Reginald R. Cloutier, Shawna S. Conyers, Yangzom Dolma, Justin M. Dusza, Anthony M. Dykes, Amber N. Encarnacion, Nicodemus J. Jancewicz, Brittany E. Main, Aaron T. Mangiafico, Rose M. Manning, Steven A. Matile, Christopher J. Mirsky, Dwayne A. Mitchell, Richard P. Osborne, Edward L. Peterson, Newell W. Powell, Jason R. Prather, Christopher P. Rediger, Timothy A. Rossi, Rebecca P. Skinner, Lorie A. Trainor, Hugh V. Trinh, Robin M. Varney, Justin J. Warner and Mark A. Whitney.
High school credit diploma graduates are:
David H. Baez, Kaela M. Bohara, Nicholas M. Brann, Dwayne E. Campbell, Jahaida Y. Cardona, Audrey L. Charron, Megan E. Corson, Zachary E. Couillard, Mary E. Coyer, William A. Crespo, Antonio S. Crisanti Jr., Angelita A. Daversa, Michael A. DePina, Roseleine Desius, Jonsie L. Ellis, Patrick T. Esposito, Ashley E. Falzone, Tashara N. Flanders, Zachary E. Forte, Jennifer L. Geraghty, Edgardo Gerena, Charisma K. Gibson, Kathleen H. Gleason, Saige L. Gocka, Jenny E. Gordon, Amanda A. Hall, Sarah L. Harris, Christina M. Hood, Brandi C. Hull, Brooke S. Hull, Megan N. Hull, Hunter M. Hursey, Mariana Y. Ibarra, Rene Jean, Ceferina Leon, Landy M. Louisthelmy, Jonathan M. Marceau, Luis A. Marrero, Sherard L. Mizell, Jasmine Morales, Lucas P. Page, Justin L. Plowden, Lindsey J. Potts, Juan D. Puello Martínez, Britney M. Rebello, Elizabeth J. Rogers, Megan E. Sabrowske, Katie L. Sizer, Dalton L. Smith, Troy J. Smith, Alicia R. Stevens, Christopher L. Stevens, Brian P. St. Jean, Jamekga B. Stovall, Justin M. Stratzman, Samantha A. Tucker, Maria D. Velasquez and Brian D. Weiss.
National External Diploma Program (NEDP) graduates are:
Linda K. Cassel and Sara A. Schultz.