By MARTHA HODGE
In June of 2009, the Acadia Parish Adult Education Program bestowed 106 GED diplomas to students who displayed a great deal of dedication toward this achievement.
For the first time since the inception of the GED completions in Acadia parish, the faculty agreed to present a special award to a student who demonstrated the most dedication to the program, both in attendance and desire to learn.
Mr. Jesse Perron of Rayne was the recipient of this special recognition.
Mr. Jesse is not a graduate yet, but has been involved in pursing his GED for eight years.
This special gentleman has attended faithfully. He is usually the first student to arrive in the morning and often stays for both the morning and afternoon program.
He brings a lifetime of experience to the teachers and students alike. Coming from an abusive, broken home, he lived in various foster homes and even experienced homelessness
Mr. Jesse decided to work as a farmhand, cowboy, trucker, repair man, and migrant worker and visited almost every state, riding the rails and eking out a living for himself, but never forgetting to be the avid reader that he is.
He visits the Rayne Library weekly. He is the best example of what the faculty knows to be a lifelong learner.
As an example of his attendance, Mr. Jesse usually drives a 1969 pickup truck to school, when it’s running. When it is not, at the age of 70, Mr. Jesse jumps on his bicycle in Rayne and pedals all the way to Crowley and, of course, apologizes for being late, works the entire time he is in class, ad pedals back to Rayne.
The staff and students are blessed to have someone in their midst who is this dedicated to learning and this persistent in pursuing a goal. He is, indeed, our teacher also.