Richard Melchor, who works as a tilesetter, had a lot going for him — a wife of six years and a large, supportive extended family. But something was missing — a high school diploma.

So after several years of thinking about it, Melchor, 31, finally decided to enroll in Hesperia Adult School. Besides the core classes, he also enrolled in English as a Second Language.

"Finally," he said. "I decided to study."

The toughest classes for him were geometry and algebra. And if he didn't know it before, he certainly came to understand perhaps the most important lesson he would learn: perseverance.

"It was a lot of homework," said his wife Liliana Latorre-Melchor.

His cousin Joanna Cervantes who helped tutor Melchor said the math was easy to her because, "It was all recent for me."

Although she is younger, she developed a new perspective of her cousin.

"It seems like he's my son, even though I'm older than him."

Her assistance certainly paid off as Melchor recently told her, "By the way, I'm graduating."

Last Friday evening, Melchor was one of 22 who had studied countless hours, juggled work commitments and other adult responsibilities and battled frustration and doubt to earn their high school diplomas at the Hesperia Adult School's 2010 commencement at Sultan Hall in Hesperia.

Mike Smith, director of career and adult education, introduced the graduates and HUSD schools superintendent Mark McKinney presented the diplomas. Class of 2010 Ronnell Deon Brown led his fellow students in the tassel ceremony.

The 2010 Hesperia Adult School graduates:

Sonia Bahena, Geneva V. Barberena, Ronnell Brown, Latonya Dunn, Adrianna Flores, Jonathan Gallardo, Samantha Gonzalez, Richard Hayes, Joneshia Haywood, Denny Dale Holmes, Jubentino Islas, Vivian M. Leiva, Richard Melchor, Carmen Mendoza, Shannon Murdock, Anna Marie Rivera, Claudia Rodriguez, Dixie Anahi Sanchez, John J. Sandoval Jr., Jennifer Ellen Sims, Jewel A. Thompson and Ronise Yell.

Now that Melchor has graduated, his wife is ecstatic.

"Now we can get our weekends back," she said.

And Melchor described his feelings as "awesome, excited."

Following the ceremony, Melchor and his entourage of supporters — which included his mother who drove from Mexico for the event — would head over to a family party to celebrate. But the lazy weekends may not last long.

"I would love to go to VVC. I'd like to improve my English and take psychology," he said. "I want to become an immigration officer."

 

 

Hesperia Adult School Class of 2010

Sonia Bahena                               Geneva V. Barberena
Ronnell Brown                               Latonya Dunn
Adriana Flores                              Jonathan Gallardo
Samantha Gonzalez                      Richard Hayes
Joneshia Haywood                       Denny Dale Holmes
Jubentino Islas                             Vivian M. Leiva
Ricardo Melchor                            Carmen Mendoza
Shannon Murdock                        Anna Marie Rivera
Dixie Sanchez                              John J. Sandoval Jr.
Jennifer Ellen Sims                      Jewel A. Thompson
Ronise Yell