Local News

April 29, 2013

Getting the grades

Students at juvenile detention facility have high graduation rate

INDIANAPOLIS — Walking up to the microphone with his General Educational Development certificate in hand, a 17-year-old student could finally find a positive in his incarceration.

“I’m a graduate,” the boy said.

The Logansport Juvenile Detention Facility saw a class of 15 students graduate with GEDs Friday in one of the many classes the facility graduates each year. Richard Richardson, principal at the facility’s school, said the facility boasts a high GED graduation rate because of the students’ drive and the individualized attention.

For the past three years, the facility has hosted about five to six graduations a year and seen 120 to 140 students graduate each year with GEDs, Richardson said.

That puts the facility’s graduation rate as the highest in the county except for Logansport High School, according to Richardson.

The GED is offered to anyone in the facility 16 and older, but the 16 and 17-year-olds have to get a parent’s consent while older students have to sign up to take the test, Richardson said.

Though it’s somewhat voluntary, Richardson said, the teachers and counselors in the facility urge students to get the certificate.

“It’s a strongly encouraged process,” Richardson said.

Judy Willis, who has worked for 17 1/2 years as an English teacher at facility, said she believes the individual attention the students receive as well as the all-around educational support from everyone in the facility helps with the GED progress.

“They get more individual help,” Willis said.

For 16-year-old Tommy, the more disciplined classroom helped him get away from the peer distractions he used to have.

“That was probably my biggest problem in high school,” Tommy said.

Richardson said many students, like Tommy, already have high school credits, but need the different classroom setting to really absorb what they’ve learned.

Willis said many of the students also initially struggle with essay writing as they start preparing for the GED.

“That seems to be a huge gap,” Willis said.

However, Willis said many students do enjoy writing poetry and reading in their free time.

Richardson said many students are also driven to get their degree because they have a goal of eventually finding a career.

“A lot of these young men feel this is their last chance,” Richardson said.

Travis, a student at the facility, said he wanted to get his GED so that he could eventually become a registered nurse.

“I think I’m going to move forward,” Travis said.

His mother Colleen said she’s also noticed the amount of time and dedication Travis has put into the certification.

“I’m proud. Very, very proud,” Colleen said. “He’s gone a long way.”

Richardson said the facility also provides the students with business cards and helps them create a resume as they leave the facility.

When he gets out of the facility in August, Tommy said he plans to enroll in Ivy Tech with the goal of working in medicine or furthering his passion for chemistry.

“I’m going to start right away,” Tommy said.

Caitlin Huston is a staff reporter of the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732-5148 or

For more on this story and other local news, subscribe to The Pharos-Tribune eEdition, or our print edition

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • NWS-PT072814 McKinley Mortar Work on Logansport senior-living facility continues The transformation of a building on Logansport’s north side that formerly accommodated children is expected to be complete this fall, when it will start catering to those on the other end of life’s timeline.Indianapolis-based Crestline Communities ha

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • History, carnival set for Delphi DELPHI — One hundred and fifty-nine years ago, the founders of Carroll County gathered together to catch up and connect, as it was one of the only ways to do so back in 1885.Referred to as the Carroll County Old Settlers’ Meeting, it still lives on t

    July 28, 2014

  • Eric Peters Veteran on cross- country mission PERU — Eric Peters is on a 2,700-mile mission.As a 23-year-old Army veteran who served in Afghanistan, Peters is used to missions. But this one is personal.Thirty-five days ago, he started a cross-country trek from his home in Clark, New Jersey, that

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Purdue corn specialist: Cool weather's effect on crop could differ from 2009 WEST LAFAYETTE — The next two months will determine whether the Indiana corn crop produces high yields as expected or is significantly damaged by any unforeseen, drastic changes in weather and diseases, Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen sa

    July 28, 2014

  • Late-season herbicide may be ineffective, scientist says WEST LAFAYETTE — For farmers seeing weeds in their crop fields this late in the growing season, hand-rouging and pulling them by hand may be the best way to remove them, more so than using a herbicide, a Purdue Extension weed scientist says.“The majo

    July 28, 2014

  • NWS-PT072714 - manhunt deputy - MLK Manhunt: Law enforcement capture State Hospital escapee BURROWS — An inmate who reportedly escaped from the Logansport State Hospital Thursday evening was apprehended in Carroll County late Friday morning.Jim Gavin, director of communications and media at the Indiana Family and Social Services Administrat

    July 27, 2014 4 Photos

  • Sports briefs for Sunday, July 27 Sports BriefsKizer helps Feverrally to beat StarsSAN ANTONIO (AP) — Lynetta Kizer scored 16 points and the Indiana Fever dominated the fourth quarter in rallying for a 75-68 victory over the San Antonio Stars on Saturday night.Shavonte Zellous added

    July 27, 2014

  • NWS-PT072714 Gregory Konrath mugshot Trial set for man accused of plotting murder PERU — An orthopedic surgeon at Dukes Memorial Hospital who is accused of plotting to murder his ex-wife and make it look like a suicide is set to face a jury trial.In Miami County Circuit Court Thursday, Gregory Konrath, 48, was scheduled to face tr

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Cass Co. United Way to move offices Cass County’s United Way office is moving Sept. 1 to Cass City Center from its current location a block away, in the corner of the Security Federal Savings Bank building in downtown Logansport.“The United Way has appreciated the generous agreement wi

    July 27, 2014

  • NWS-PT072714 - wagoner mug [Duplicate] Former Kokomo doctor to forfeit $1.2 million KOKOMO — Former Kokomo doctor Donald Wagoner, who recently was convicted and sentenced for over-prescribing pain medication, has agreed to pay $1.2 million as settlement in a civil suit brought by the Howard County Prosecutor’s Office.Prosecutor Mark

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

     View Results