While working on her associate's degree through Lake Tahoe Community College, Lelita Guthrie was told she couldn’t receive her AA without her high school diploma due to a missing Algebra requirement. “I shoved the thought of a high school diploma in the back once again until my son talked me into meeting with his teacher, Susan Baker. As it turns out, South Lake Tahoe has an adult education program, Mt. Tallac Adult School, and I only needed two more classes to obtain my high school diploma,” Guthrie explained.
“What makes the El Dorado County Office of Education Adult Education programs so beneficial to the community,” said program administrator Gary Sutherland, “is the opportunity to provide our region’s adult learners with a wide range of rich learning experiences tailored to meet their unique needs. Ms. Guthrie’s situation is the perfect example of how our programs prepare and empower our students to achieve their educational, career, and personal goals.”
Guthrie overcame a series of personal hurdles to get to her graduation date, including dropping out as a junior in high school, getting married, starting a family, leaving an unhealthy relationship, raising her children, moving across the country, losing both her brothers and her mother, and running a successful cleaning business. With the help of the Adult Education program, Lelita Guthrie, age 64, fulfilled her 47-year-old promise to her parents to receive her high school diploma.
“To make this milestone even more special,” stated Guthrie, “my son only needed one class for his high school diploma, so we turned in our homework at the same time, and now we will be walking the stage to receive our high school diplomas together.” To sweeten the event even more, Lelita’s granddaughter is a graduating senior at South Tahoe High School, so Guthrie, her son, and her granddaughter will all graduate in South Lake Tahoe during the 2018-19 school year!
Guthrie’s advice to those who are seeking help with their education or career goals is simple. “One can go back to school even if they have fears and seasons behind them. The first step is walking back into the school - the rest will come.”
The EDCOE Adult Education program provides opportunities for adults throughout El Dorado County, from El Dorado Hills to Lake Tahoe, to continue their education or enhance their career, in structured, yet flexible learning environments - and all of the courses are free.
For more information about the programs - which includes high school diploma, GED, and hundreds of industry-approved certification courses - please visit aded.edcoe.org or call (530) 295-2291.