GED Classes Available in DeKalb County

March 25, 2009
by: 
Dwayne Page
Betty Hickey

Interested in obtaining a GED?

A GED program is offered free in DeKalb County to anyone age eighteen or older. The classes meet at Northside Elementary School and are taught by Betty Hickey and volunteers Tom Werling, Tina Evans and her daughter Kim.

Hickey says the GED classes meet on Monday and Wednesday at Northside Elementary School starting at 4:00 p.m. "I'd like to thank Mrs Gayle Redman for giving us a home because we actually don't have a home in DeKalb County or a phone number. We get a lot of phone calls to our central office and to my home phone, but she has given us a home there and we appreciate that."

"We have open enrollment. That means we accept people all year long from August when we start until the end of June. We shut down during the month of July. All of our classes are free because we are considered public education but the testing center charges a fee of $55.00 and you have to go to McMinnville or Cookeville to take your test. The Smithville Rotary Club and DeKalb Community Bank helps with this fee and right now the state pays $35.00 on this fee."

"When you come, the first thing we do is give a test. That test gives us a grade level in reading, math, and English. From there, we can work with you, one on one, because our classes are usually pretty small. After we get your grade levels, then we can help you one on one with the areas you are low in until you are ready to go take your exam. The areas that you are tested in are science, social studies, reading, math, and English, which includes an essay. One good thing about the test is that you can go take your exam and you don't have to pass all subjects at once. You can pass what you can, come back to us, and we'll help you through the areas that you may be having more difficulty in."

"I love to call them (students) my second chancers because they are given a second chance. They realize their mistake and they are so thankful and appreciative for classes that give them an opportunity to start over again. We have a lot of students who come back and thank us after getting their GED. It's just a rewarding thing to teach. This year, I guess because of the economy, we have doubled in size. We have about 20 students per night now in our program. They are afraid that if they lose their job at the factory that they can't get another one unless they have a diploma, so our classes have just about doubled in size this year."

Hickey says persons younger and older have taken advantage of this program. "We get a lot of people who have just turned 18. Our oldest student was 65. We have students of all ages."

"I also want to thank my three volunteers, Mr. Tom Werling, who is the 2008 Volunteer of the Year in the GED program, Mrs. Tina Evans and her daughter Kim."

For more information call 597-5404.

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