In recent years, various challenges such as the COVID-19 pandemic, online and hybrid learning, and personal issues have presented obstacles for students aspiring to graduate on time. For some students still, it also included limited English language skills.
This year we would like to celebrate the success stories of Elmer Aguilar and Geovanni Alvarenga Gonzalez, two English-Language Learners who overcame adversity to achieve their dreams.
Elmer Aguilar arrived in the United States in 2019 with limited English proficiency. Undeterred by the language barrier, he undertook a demanding schedule of classes, working a 37-hour work week, all while experiencing numerous cultural "firsts." Today, he stands as a testament to the power of determination. Aguilar now has his sights set on obtaining his Commercial Driver's License (CDL) and pursuing a career in truck driving.
Geovanni Alvarenga Gonzalez, who arrived in the U.S. in 2021 faced similar language challenges, and also exhibited an unyielding commitment to persevere. Balancing a full schedule of classes and a 35-hour work week, he, too, experienced countless cultural milestones. Alvarenga Gonzalez aspires to pursue higher education in the near future, showcasing his ambition and dedication to lifelong learning.
Both Alvarenga Gonzalez and Aguilar displayed their dedication to their educational journey. They doubled up on their English Language Arts (ELA) classes during their senior year, enrolled in the rigorous summer school program, and completed coursework through Sawyer Credit Connect which utilizes Apex Learning Program, a recognized leader in online education. Their determination led them to successfully pass the ELA Regents examination, a testament to their academic prowess and commitment.
"We are immensely thrilled to witness the remarkable achievements of Elmer Aguilar and Geovanni Alvarenga Gonzalez," said Saugerties Central School District Superintendent Dr. Daniel Erceg. "These two young men are the definition of perseverance and we are proud to have provided them the opportunity to achieve their High School Diploma. We look forward to witnessing their continued success."
We would also like to acknowledge the other two graduates of summer school for their hard work and determination: Dalton Reynolds and Joyce Gottlieb.
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