We had a great time in sunny San Diego during this year’s annual conference!

July 25 through July 27 we hosted the 2018 GED Testing Service Annual Conference at the San Diego Westin Gaslamp Quarter with over 500 attendees. During the three-day event we had a full lineup of presentations, networking opportunities, professional development workshops and information sessions.  

Train the Trainer: We kicked off our three-day event with our pre-conference Train the Trainer Institute led by the GED Testing Service Professional Development Team—Daphne Atkinson, Debi Faucette, Bonnie Goonen and Susan Pittman. Participants attended sessions that provided GED program information, teaching strategies and the resources they need to conduct in-person training sessions with their local and regional adult education peers.

Keynote Speaker/ Guest Speakers: During our opening session President Randy Trask thanked adult educators for their hard work and dedication to helping learners earn their GED credential. He also shared highlights about the success of the GED program, including the growing success rate of GED graduates entering and remaining in college and career training programs, new employer partners in the GEDWorks program and new study tools created to help both instructors and students succeed with the GED test subjects.

This year our keynote speaker was Erin Gruwell, educator and founder of the Freedom Writers Foundation. Gruwell made a powerful speech about her students, the Freedom Writers, and how she challenged them to change their lives through writing and self-expression. She also shared inspiring stories about the importance of teacher and student relationships.

We were also joined by two guest speakers during the conference. Dr. Carolyn Zachry, State Director and Education Administrator for the Adult Education Office in the Career and College Transition Division at the California Department of Education, welcomed conference attendees during the opening plenary.

Don Killmer, the State Director and Education Administrator for the High School Equivalency and Outreach Office in the Assessment and Administration Division at the California Department of Education, gave an introduction during our awards luncheon.

GED Graduate of the Year/ GED Administrator of the Year/ President’s Award: At this year’s conference we recognized six GED graduates as GED Graduate of the Year award winners. Each recipient was honored for recently earning their GED credential and displaying exceptional dedication and scholarship during the preparation and testing process. This year’s winners, from California and Colorado, are Issiah A. of Concord, Trinh H. of Garden Grove, Elisabeth K. of San Jose, Joshua L. of San Bernardino, Marquita S. of Sacramento and Robert V. of Colorado. The winners shared their emotional stories about their journey to earn the GED credential and how adult educators and other mentors helped them along the way. Read more about this year’s GED graduate award winners here.

We also recognized Tara Goodman, GED Administrator for the Florida Department of Education, with the GED Administrator of the Year Award. Bonnie Goonen and Susan Pittman, GED Testing Service Professional Development trainers, were honored with the President’s Award.

Professional Development/ Information Sessions: Professional development and information sessions were the main focus of this year’s conference. Over three days we conducted 23 information sessions and professional development workshops for conference attendees—a full list of sessions and links to presentations is available here.

We want to send a huge thank you to all that attended the conference, followed along using the hashtag #GEDTS18 and posted in our conference app! 

Here are some photos from the event: