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McCreary Countys Ron Tucker is named Adult Education Student of the Year

Ron Tucker, the owner of Rons Hair Care in Whitley City in McCreary has been named the Kentucky Adult Education Student of the Year for 2009.

Tucker has been a student at the McCreary County Adult Education Center operated by Somerset Community College, where he earned his General Equivalency Diploma.

Tucker is a successful business owner in McCreary County since 1986.

According to a story by Janie Slaven in the McCreary County Record, Tucker said that as an elementary student during the 1970s, he struggled with his class assignments, but quickly learned that, if he did not draw attention to himself, he would be passed on to the next grade.

The strategy worked until Tucker reached high school where he dropped out, the newspaper reported.

Tucker enrolled in Beauty College, graduated, and worked hard to build his business. It wasn't until his daughter Kayla entered the eighth grade and Tucker found he was unable to help her with her homework that he began to really consider going back to school.

It had always been on my bucket list. It was something I wanted to do, Tucker told Slaven. I went to help my eighth-grader but it was just intimidating. But I didn't want my children to quit school if they ran into problems because I did.

Tucker was encouraged to study and earn his GED by his wife Debbie; his daughter, Kayla; and his son, Elijah. Tucker told the newspaper that he had to overcame his fear of returning to school after 28 years.

He started working with the staff of the McCreary County Adult Education Center last October. The program is operated by Somerset Community College and is located in the SCC McCreary Center.

At first, he said that he worked in secrecy. He would study during his lunch hour or on his day off. But Florence King, the McCreary Adult Education Center Director, convinced him that his story was worth telling.

Florence said, You have a shop, but you still went back, Tucker reported to Slaven. Dropping out happens to normal people. No matter what happens in life, you're never too old to accomplish your goals.

Tucker earned his GED on February 24.

He was nominated by the McCreary Adult Learning Center for the Learning for Life Student of the Year, which is awarded by Kentucky Adult Education and the Kentucky Association of Adult and Continuing Education.

According to the award, it is given to the student who has overcome significant obstacles or is making great progress in achieving his or her educational goals or who has been a role model for his or her children and/or other adult education students.

Winners of this award receive a scholarship to continue their education.

According to Slaven, although he loves doing hair, Tucker is ready to put that scholarship to use. His 10-year goal is to become a counselor. A goal he set after hearing a guest speaker at a conference talk about how beauticians can cosmetically and psychologically transform human beings.

According to Tucker, his business naturally lends itself to conversation.

Ive counseled so many people while doing their hair, Tucker told the newspaper. I don't just like making people look better; I like making them feel better.

Tucker accepted his award at the Kentucky Adult Education Conference in Louisville on Monday, April 20.

Not only is his family proud of him, but the center staff is delighting in the honor he has achieved as well.

Its a wonderful achievement for him, King told The Record.

Somerset Community College is a comprehensive two-year institution of higher education. SCC has campuses in Somerset and London, centers in Clinton, McCreary, Casey and Russell Counties. The website is www.somerset.kctcs.edu. Call for admission and registration information toll free at 1-877-629-9722.

KCTCS serves the Commonwealth through 16 community and technical college districts that form a seamless system of 62 campuses open or under construction. KCTCS colleges change lives by providing accessible and affordable education and training through academic and technical associate degrees; diploma and certificate programs in occupational fields; pre-baccalaureate education; adult, continuing and developmental education; customized training for business and industry; and distance learning. For more information, visit www.kctcs.edu.