December '17 Update

The town is currently bustling with Christmas energy! White-light Christmas trees are dotting the Hwy. 65 roadside by the lake. Decorations are up on the lamp posts, the tree is lit at the courthouse, and the community choir is preparing for its annual concert.

The students in the GED class are busy at work, as well, trying to finish their degrees before the end of the fall semester. Eleven students are in the process of completing their five tests, and hopefully four or five students will have completed all of the parts before Christmas. For those who don’t, they’ll keep chipping away at the tests in January after holiday festivities have come to a close.

Between the months of November 2016 and October 2017, I had seven GED graduates. While I’m happy with this number, I’m especially excited that almost twice as many students will now be completing the process in a much shorter amount of time. (The students have been working very hard, of course, while their GED teacher is also learning how to be a better GED teacher.)

The Learning Center has also been a success so far. Folks are continuing to take advantage of the space for night GED classes, especially during the harvest season when students weren’t able to come during the day because of work opportunities.  Post-harvest time, students continue to come at night for extra tutoring and practice. In the spring, the space will be multi-purposed as I partner with local high school teachers for ACT prep and financial aid/college application information sessions.

A special thanks is in order for Church for the Highlands (Kyle Kelley and others) for the repair work they’ve done recently on the garage. Some rot has been taken care of, boards replaced, protection added, and a new coat of paint freshly applied!

Thanks, also, to the individuals and congregations who have donated funds for the Learning Center and for GED study materials (calculators, pencils, notebooks, and prep books). For as little as $120, a GED student can be fully sponsored, which includes the cost of the HiSET tests ($100) and a prep book ($20). Please email ( or call (252-363-8098) if you’re interested. This would make for a wonderful “Pay It Forward” type of Christmas gift. Blessings to you all in the Advent and Christmas seasons!