Hesperia's students with perhaps the most sticktuitiveness of any in the school district were rewarded for their drive and determination last Wednesday evening.


"These people on the stage tonight are very special," said Mike Smith, the Hesperia Unified School District's director of career and adult education.


Altogether, 35 Hesperia Adult School students were graduated at Sultan Hall, an event that kicked off the school district's graduation season.


The graduates, including adult students who juggled the responsibilities of parenthood and others whose got off track during high school, were congratulated for hanging in there.


"You made it!" exclaimed teacher Laureen Beyer. "Did you hear what I said? You made it!"


But Beyer reminded them that it took a sense of community to help make it happen.


"This was a team effort. You should stand up and give applause to those besides you and behind you."


Beyer also urged them to move forward with lifelong learning.


"Your schooling may be over here, but your education continues," she said.


Maria Teresa Segura, who presided over the tassel ceremony, also reminded the graduates that they had hard work in common.


"Age is not a factor when it comes to achieving," Segura said. "Some took a few months, some a few years. If you fail, don't let it be because you didn't try."


Superintendent Mark McKinney also expressed his pride in their accomplishments.


"You are a special group of learners," McKinney said. "As adult learners, I am so proud of what you've done."


Other participants included the Sultana AF JROTC Color Guard, which presented the colors, Rosa Linda Segura who led the flag salute, speakers Paz Maria Soto and Theresa Marie Womak from the Class of 2009, and reader Maggie Avila.


School board members in attendance included Lee Rogers, Hardy Black, Chris Bentley and Anthony Riley.


Arlene Gluck, the district's director of alternative education, helped hand out the diplomas.


Hesperia Adult School 2009 graduates:


Francisco Javier Herrera Aldrete, Jasmin Aispuro, Nubia Gissey Alvarez, Natividad Benitez, Brittany Copeland, Cynthia Cox, Adriana Bereniz Cruz, Cory L. Dunlap, Rosa Maria Estrada, Berenice Facio, Norma Araceli Gonzalez, Clara Griffin, Arturo Gutierrez, Christine Gutierrez, Cassandra Monique Hannum, Denise Marie Kemp, Beatriz A. Lopez, Gloria Isabel Loya, Marcella Mendez, Bernadette Marie Muņoz, Jacob Narmore, Dani Olvera, Dee Ann Racobs, Shannon Robison, Laura Rodriguez, Angela Sandoval, Anel J. Santana, Justin J. Seeds, Maria Teresa Segura, Rosa Linda Segura, Sonia Serafin, Michelle D. Smitson, Paz Maria Soto, Danielle Stroup, Theresa Marie Womack.