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Page updated Jul 24, 2013 10:55 AM

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Inmates Recognized for Earning GEDs, Food Safety Certification

Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and his staff honored the educational accomplishments of 11 inmates during a graduation ceremony on Tuesday, July 23, at the William G. Truesdale Adult Detention Center. Guest speaker Andy Evans, an Alexandria native known as the Comedy Counselor, addressed the graduates, inmates and staff. A former counselor at George Mason University who now lectures and performs, Evans showed the audience his own GED certificate and then shared an inspiring motivational message infused with humor and thoughtful insight.

Education coordinator Krista Sofonia then presented five inmates with Certificates of Achievement for passing their General Educational Development (GED) examinations. Sherrell Daniels, Wbengda Legesse, Carl Talbert and two inmates who did not want their identities published wore caps and gowns and were applauded by staff, fellow inmates and family members attending the ceremony.

Two other inmates, Carlton Ellis and Curtis Hillman, wore chef’s hats as they were recognized for earning their ServSafe® Food Protection Manager Certification, a locally and nationally recognized certification which will make them more competitive candidates for restaurant and food service employment opportunities. The eight-hour training program covered food safety regulations and concepts, including time and temperature control, preventing cross-contamination, cleaning and sanitizing, safe food preparation, receiving and storing food, and methods of thawing, cooking, cooling and reheating food. Four other inmates released before the ceremony also earned ServSafe® certifications.

Photo: Andy Evans, the Comedy Counselor, addresses the GED and ServSafe graduates as Sheriff Dana Lawhorne and members of the Sheriff’s Office staff listen. 

2013 GED ServSafe Grad Ceremony