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29 ESL, GED adult learners gain Adult Education National Honor Society acclaim (Alief, Houston, Pasadena, Katy, La Porte, Crosby)

Adult Education National Honor Society rewards 29 unique, hard-working, non-traditional HCDE students
Honorees nominated by ESL, GED teachers

Twenty-nine Harris County Department of Education Adult Education students earn accolades from their teachers as Adult Education National Honor Society inductees on April 12 from 10-11 a.m. at 6300 Irvington Blvd. in Houston, Texas.
The 29 students from Alief, Baytown, Crosby, Dayton, Houston, Katy, La Porte, South Houston and Pasadena appear alongside their teachers at HCDE at 6300 Irvington Blvd. to receive handshakes-and-hugs, honor roll pins and commendation letters for potential employers. They are enrolled in English as a second language and GED classes.

“These students range in age from young adults to senior citizens and reside in neighborhoods we serve in greater Harris County,” said Eduardo Honold, HCDE Adult Education division director. “They are recognized for going ‘above-and-beyond’ inside and outside of their classrooms.”
Many of the students attend classes at the HCDE Adult Education Learning Center at 6515 Irvington while others take courses at HCDE learning sites located in churches or community centers. Classes are free and offered throughout the year through staggered registration dates. Last year HCDE served over 10,000 students in its adult education program.

Teachers say the adults demonstrated success by visibly improving their lives and impacting others as a result of learning. Most of the inductees demonstrate leadership within the classroom. All have overcome difficult circumstances in order to pursue adult learning experiences, Honold said.

For more information about HCDE Adult Education classes, go to “adult education” at or call (713) 692-6216.

Samplings of success stories from the 29 students:

Maricela Cruz (77504) Pasadena, Rosa Siller, teacher—Still suffering from two spinal surgeries following a work-related accident, Cruz attends classes where she has learned to write, read and speak English. Cruz said: “I now have the confidence to pursue my citizenship as well as my own sewing business to have my American dream realized.” Her teacher commends her for her perfect attendance as well as her willingness to help classmates.
Brandy Casillas (77450) Katy, Texas, Diane Herzik, teacher—After 11 years of marriage and three children, this suburban mom had her world disarrayed as her husband requested a divorce. After studying rigorously, she received exceptionally high GED scores and is focused on becoming a dental hygienist. “Pursuing my education has changed me in a couple of different ways,” she said. “First of all it has given me confidence in myself.” Her teacher says Casillas is the perfect example of an individual who lives by the motto: “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Meida C. Guzman (77536) Deer Park, Patricia Jaime, teacher—Guzman began working at 8 in El Salvador and earning money for her family by selling ice cream at school. She earned high marks in high school and became an educator in her native country but left for the American dream. She continues to learn and hopes to attend college to become a teacher. “My dream in this country is to help all the people who need me and work as a teacher.” Her teacher says Guzman demonstrates “great qualities in her quest to learn English.”
Samantha Haas (77520) Baytown, Texas, Elsa Kleiman, teacher—As one of six girls, Haas dropped out of high school after experiencing the devastation and hardships of losing both parents. She needed to help her cancer-stricken grandmother care for her siblings. Today as a mother of three, she tends to the needs of her immediate and extended family while attending school for her GED. “I returned to school to get my diploma so I could provide a more stable future for my children and be a better role model. Her teacher says in spite of the obstacles in Haas’ life, she is determined to get a college education. In class, her energy, attitude and helpfulness benefit her fellow students.

About HCDE: Harris County Department of Education provides education services to the general public and 26 school districts throughout Harris County and beyond. Services include adult education, programs to promote safe schools, after-school programs, therapy services, professional development for educators, special schools, alternative certification for principals and teachers, and Head Start programs. We offer purchasing procurement, grant development, program research and evaluation, records management, and school finance support. Since 1889, our services continue to evolve to meet the needs of our education public. Visit us at

Carol E. Vaughn, Communications/Media Relations Manager
Harris County Department of Education
6300 Irvington Blvd., Houston TX 77022
713-696-0756 office, 281-660-9205 cell, 281-744-4303 Blackberry

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