Kong retires after 40 years of educational service

After forty years of teaching children and adults, Kathy Ragsdale Kong is retiring from the Clermont County Educational Service Center.

Kathy has given the last 15 years to assisting adults to learn to read, prepare for the GED Test or college entrance exams.

Whatever the adult student goal, she was ready to serve. The Adult Education staff celebrated this life changing event at the 24th annual GED Graduation Ceremony.

Thirty graduates assembled on May 26, 2011 at UC Clermont College to receive an award of recognition for successful completion of the GED Equivalency Diploma. The graduates wore the traditional cap and gown to mark the importance of the event.

Over 300 family members and friends were in attendance to share the celebration. Blaine Kelly, UC Clermont College, welcomed the graduates and their families.

The college plays a strategic role in the GED process.

In collaboration with the Clermont County Educational Service Center, Clermont College provides space for the Adult Education classes. The college also provides the facility for the graduation ceremony.

During the 2010-11 program year 164 people took the GED test and 128 received their GED Equivalency Diploma. This is an 81 percent success rate. The Adult Basic and Literacy Education Program provides a “Second Chance” opportunity for adults to receive their high school credentials.

The GED Equivalency Diploma will allow those adults to continue their education at post-secondary institutions, help their children with homework, meet new job requirements, and mark a significant milestone in their lives.

Kenneth Ryan and Rebecca McHaffie were selected out of two hundred students to be inducted into the National Honor Society. This honor is based on the following criteria: positive and good attitude, exhibiting leadership, perseverance, good citizenship, is dependable, responsible, and works well with others.

Each inductee received a letter of recommendation for post secondary enrollment and for employment from the National Association of Honor Society. They also received a letter of outstanding achievement from Ohio State Senator Tom Niehaus.

Clermont County Commissioner Ed Humphries was in attendance to congratulate the graduates and will also send a letter of outstanding achievement.

Jimmi McIntosh, Supervisor, said, “Our classes provide a “Second Chance” to adults who have not completed high school. Many of our students realize they can’t get a promotion, the job they want, or get a college degree. Getting students inside the door is the most difficult chore. You must make a commitment not to give up – the test is not easy!”

The success of the GED program is due not only to the hard work and desire of the students to achieve, but also to the dedicated teachers.

Their belief in the program combined with their encouragement and support ensures success.