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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

At Pinellas's "Countywide Graduation," nearly 200 received diplomas, GEDs

23

August

Last night was the Pinellas County Schools graduation ceremony for adult students and high school seniors who needed extra credits to make it across the stage. The Times today reported the story of Joanne McNaughton, a 72-year-old St. Petersburg woman who earned her GED hoping to inspire her drop-out grandson to do the same.

The newspaper's only so big, but suffice it to say that McNaughton wasn't the only person celebrating a long-sought diploma at the "Countywide Graduation."

It took Victor Brantley Kelly, a 34-year-old with muscular dystrophy, to earn his GED at the Dixie Hollins Adult Education Center. Continually losing his motor skills and confined to a wheelchair, Kelly required special accommodations from the state to take his final test. But he made it to Thursday night's ceremony at the Mahaffey Theater.

Ron Livingston, 47, was a night foreman for the school system, but he wanted to move up the career chain. After earning his GED through the district's GED for Employees Program, he was promoted to plant operator at Oldsmar Elementary.

Overall, nearly 200 students between the ages of 16 and 72 received their GED or high school diploma Thursday evening. Superintendent Michael Grego attended the ceremony, as did some school board members.

[Last modified: Friday, August 23, 2013 3:03pm]

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