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NIC GED graduation ceremony to highlight student success

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Shannon Derby stands outside the North Idaho College Adult Basic Education Center on Fifth and Lakeside in Coeur d’Alene. Derby earned a GED in December and plans to participate in the GED Graduation Ceremony May 3 at NIC. Shannon Derby stands outside the North Idaho College Adult Basic Education Center on Fifth and Lakeside in Coeur d’Alene. Derby earned a GED in December and plans to participate in the GED Graduation Ceremony May 3 at NIC.

North Idaho College to hold GED graduation ceremony Tuesday, May 2 at the Coeur d'Alene campus.

While others were living out their high school years attending prom and going to homecoming football games, Shannon Derby was just struggling to fit in.

Derby’s family moved a lot making high school a challenge for the teenager, who attended 10 different schools by the time she was a junior in high school. She was constantly starting over and trying to make friends while struggling to keep up on her school work and meet the requirements to advance grade levels.

Midway through her junior year, when her parents announced they were planning to move again, Derby decided to drop out.

“I was actually participating in afterschool programs, trying to keep up,” Derby said. “But I decided enough was enough.”

Derby, now 38, moved on with her life; got a job at a factory, married and spend the next five years raising her twin sons in Coeur d’Alene. But years later she felt like something was missing.

“I just wanted to do it,” Derby said, “to prove something to myself and to set a good example for my kids.”

Derby spent several hours each day in the North Idaho College Adult Basic Education Center, receiving GED training in preparation for taking the five-part high school equivalency exam.

“Only 60 percent of graduating high school seniors would pass the GED tests on their first attempt,” said NIC Adult Basic Education/GED Director Rex Fairfield. “So earning a GED is a major achievement.”

More than 500 people are expected to have passed the GED exam at the end of the 2011 academic year with preparation and testing services available through NIC adult basic education services offered at six centers and three juvenile detention centers/jails across North Idaho.

Derby earned her GED in December 2010 and plans to participate in the 2011 GED Graduation Ceremony scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 3 in the Boswell Hall Schuler Performing Arts Center.

The ceremony is open to all ABE/GED participants, families, friends and community members. Caps and gowns will be available for graduates for pictures.

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Stacy Hudson is the Public Information Coordinator for North Idaho College

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