CONTACT: Gail Crutchfield, Communications & Marketing, Wallace State Community College, gail,, 256.352.8064

IMG_0744HANCEVILLE – If there were any doubts of how important it was for the students dressed in cap and gowns to receive their GED (general education development) diploma, that doubt was pushed aside when one of them was presented with her diploma just a little bit earlier than the others.

“We have a special graduate we want to recognize early because she may not be able to sit for the entire program,” Wallace State Community College Adult Education Coordinator Kelley Jones said of Brenda Painter during Thursday night’s ceremony at the Hanceville campus.

“This young lady had a heart attack about three weeks ago and underwent surgery. After the surgery, she developed a blood clot and had surgery again and wound up in ICU,” Kelley said. “She was released Tuesday but did not want to miss this for her family and her grandchildren.”

Painter planned to give her GED diploma to her family as an early Christmas present and was determined to be at the graduation ceremony, no matter what, Jones said.

That determination was the one common denominator shared by all of the graduates, and something those addressing the graduates challenged them to keep as they go forward.

“You have what it takes to do anything you want to do,” said Dr. Vicki Hawsey, President of Wallace State Community College. “You just have to dream it, and if you dream it, you can do it.”

“You will see that doors will open and you’ll have a wonderful future,” said Alabama State Sen. Dr. Paul Bussman, R-Cullman, who challenged the students to continue on the road to success that started with their decision to obtain their GED.

IMG_0745“That was a life-changing moment for you,” he said. “That one decision set a course for you that will lead to a tremendous opportunity, that will open doors, that will give you chance to change your circumstance to a much better circumstance.

“A lot of people say life is just a lottery, you get what’s coming to you,” Bussman added. “But that’s not necessarily true. There are decisions that are made along the way that will determine the outcome. The decision you made to get your GED is one of those positive decisions that will make a difference if you keep your eye on the goal.”

To give them a head start on reaching their goal, every GED graduate received a scholarship for one college-credit course at Wallace State.

Four students and an instructor were recognized during the ceremony.

Donna Behan and Christopher Jennings each received 1-year, renewable scholarships to Wallace State Community; Jason Repp received a scholarship from the Oden Scholarship Foundation; and Alicia LeCroy received a $1,000 scholarship from Hope House.

Instructor Wilda Kretzschmar, who is retiring this year, received a plaque honoring her 40-years of service in education.


PHOTOS: Brenda Painter shakes hands with Bro. Bud Jones after receiving her GED at Wallace State Community College, as Dr. James Bumpus looks on.

Sen. Dr. Paul Bussman addresses GED graduates at Walllace State as Dr. Vicki Hawsey, left, and Kelley Jones, look on.


Kristen Holmes
Director, Communications & Marketing
Wallace State Community College
P.O. Box 2000, Hanceville, AL 35077
1-866-350-9722 256-352-8118 direct
256-352-8314 fax 256-339-2519 cell
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