Woman earns GED diploma at 37

Jamie Whitten receives a hug from one of her teachers, Sue Petranek, after receiving her General Educational Development diploma at the Durango Public Library. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Herald

Jamie Whitten receives a hug from one of her teachers, Sue Petranek, after receiving her General Educational Development diploma at the Durango Public Library.

It took one concerned principal at Escalante Middle School to get both 37-year-old Jamie Whitten and her 18-year-old daughter, Kayla, through the doors of the Durango Adult Education Center and into the GED Program.

“I had more fun doing this than when in high school in Dolores,” Whitten said. “I enjoyed meeting all the people, and although the math was hard, Sue (Petranek) and Nan (Uhl) are the best teachers around.”

Whitten works full-time in home health care for PASCO/SW and attended night school Tuesdays and Thursdays to get her General Educational Development diploma. Kayla still is preparing for her GED exams.

Whitten already is in her second semester in the radiology program at Southwest Colorado Community College and is planning to become an ultrasound technician.

What would she say to anyone who doesn’t have a high school diploma?

“Get off their butts, stop moping and go do it,” she said with a laugh.

abutler@durangoherald.com

Jamie Whitten listens to her math teacher during class at Southwest Colorado Community College, where she is working on a radiology degree. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Herald

Jamie Whitten listens to her math teacher during class at Southwest Colorado Community College, where she is working on a radiology degree.

Tim Birchard, with the Adult Education Center, shakes Jamie Whitten’s hand after she received her GED diploma. Enlarge photo

JERRY McBRIDE/Herald

Tim Birchard, with the Adult Education Center, shakes Jamie Whitten’s hand after she received her GED diploma.

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