Students from Georgia Piedmont Technical College’s Adult Education program were the stars of the show at their commencement ceremony on April 21. The more than 50 students were joined by a packed house of family, friends, and other supporters at the DeKalb Conference Center on the GPTC campus. Thirty-eight students earned their high school equivalency while another 13 completed their English as a Second Language (ESL) studies.

Adult ed graduates
Adult Ed graduates sending love to their supporters
Presenting colors at ceremony
The Clarkston HS Color Guard presents the colors

Some highlights of the event included a special presentation to 96-year-old adult ed student Joe Safford, remarks by GPTC President Tavarez Holston and Vice President of Adult Education Meghan McBride, comments from GPTC EAGLE (Exceptional Adult Georgian in Literacy Education) student and state finalist Shay Sheha, and a keynote address by DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond.

Tavarez Holston, Joe Safford, Meghan McBride
96-year-old adult education student Joe Safford is recognized at the ceremony
Shay Sheha
GPTC’s Adult Ed student of the year Shay Sheha addresses the crowd.
DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond
DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond delivers the keynote address

In his remarks, Thurmond encouraged the graduates to “get on that road and follow your dreams.”

Applauding grads
Congratulations, graduates!

If you or someone you know is interested in earning their high school equivalency or needs to hone their English speaking skills, contact our adult education division at

Congratulations to all the graduates!