Rob Klapper, President of Ashworth College and sister schools James Madison High School and PCDI Canada, opened the ceremony by welcoming a record 1,400 plus graduates, guests, faculty, administration and staff. This was the largest live ceremony the school has hosted to date.
“Distance Education requires a lot of drive, perseverance, discipline, and focus -- clearly you have all demonstrated this,” said Klapper in his opening speech. “These are all important traits in school and in life, so you can be incredibly proud of what you have accomplished and know that it signifies a major recognized and accredited accomplishment.”
Klapper went on to acknowledge military servicemembers, military spouses and veterans in the assembly. Also among the graduates was a couple celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary, a father/son pair who both received high school diplomas, and a mother/daughter duo receiving their bachelor’s and associate degrees. Two additional graduates, one an 80 year old graduate and the other visually impaired, both received spontaneous standing ovations when they received their career diplomas.
“Not only does attending a live graduation ceremony honor a long-standing tradition shared by students worldwide, for Ashworth grads it has special significance,”
Those taking part in the ceremony traveled from 36 states, three Canadian Provinces and the Caribbean.They represented 97 college degrees, 129 career diplomas and 146 high school diplomas.
During the ceremony Kevin Kays, Fairdale, KY, was named Ashworth’s Alumnus of the Year for his outstanding academic achievements and contributions to the student community. Earlier in the year, Kays, who has earned an undergraduate certificate and an associate degree in construction management, represented Ashworth the online school in the prestigious Distance Education and Training Council’s “Outstanding Graduate of the Year” program.
Also adding to the festivities, the Ashworth Glee Club made its first public appearance and debuted the new Ashworth School Song.
Former Olympic athlete delivers keynote address
Mark Greenwald, who has served as Executive Director since 2010, has a storied history in speedskating, both in the United States and in Canada. Over the past 33 years he has served as a past US Speedskating Board Member and United States Olympic Committee Athlete Advisory Council representative, volunteer, coach, administrator and sport leader.
In his keynote speech, Greenwald addressed how the journey to achieving one’s potential can be inspiring in itself. “There are no guarantees in such pursuits, but one can pretty much guarantee that if you don’t give that 100%+ effort, you’ll never even be in the running, never give yourself the chance at ultimate success. Being here today, you know YOU have made a choice and obviously succeeded at being the best you can be by pursuing your own goals and achieving them.”
As a competitive athlete he was also a member of the U.S. Long Track Speedskating Team and competed in both the 1988 & 1992 Olympic Winter Games.
About US Speedskating
US Speedskating is a non-profit organization recognized by the United States Olympic Committee and the International Skating Union as the governing body for the sport of speedskating in the United States. Its mission is to be one of the premier speedskating organizations in the world through excellence in leadership, development and performance. To date, US Speedskating has won 85 Olympic medals, making it the most successful winter sport in the U.S. In addition to its elite programs, US Speedskating is responsible for the grassroots development of speedskating. For more information, follow US Speedskating on Facebook, Twitter and visit www.usspeedskating.org.
About Ashworth College
Celebrating 25 years of Educating Minds and Changing Lives, leading online school Ashworth College has built a tradition of excellence by offering students worldwide an extensive range of online college degrees, online certificate programs, career training and online high school diploma options that are affordable and fit the busy schedules of working adults. Ashworth offers military education as well as specialized programs for corporate partners and homeschoolers.
Headquartered in Peachtree Corners, GA, Ashworth is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council (DETC). The Accrediting Commission of the DETC is listed by the U.S. Department of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency. Ashworth is parent to James Madison High School which is accredited regionally by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), an accreditation division of AdvancED and further provides career training and vocational programs in the fields of health, business, technology, education, and skilled trades through sister schools PCDI Canada, New York Institute of Photography and Sheffield School.