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AEL students win Adult Learner of the Year awards for seventh straight year


Kilgore College Adult Education and Literacy (AEL) students received Adult Learner of the Year Awards for the seventh-straight year.

Three AEL students, representing the East Region of the Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education (TALAE), received awards in the HSE Learner of the Year and ESL Persistence Adult Learner of the Year categories.

Abigail Gaona of Longview and Justin Carmack of Kilgore were awarded the HSE (GED) Learner of the Year Award, and Martha Castillo of Henderson was awarded the ESL Persistence Adult Learner of the Year Award.

Recipients of the awards were recognized at the TALAE annual awards ceremony streamed live via Zoom on Feb. 11.

Carmack and Gaona received cash awards of $1,200 and Castillo received $500.

Cash awards were made possible by sponsorships from GED Testing Service and Burlington English.

“These amazing students demonstrate the ideals stated in the AEL program’s philosophy and mission statement. We are so proud of the hard work, leadership and perseverance each student has and continues to exhibit,” said Charmyn Tumey, AEL director.

The award finalists were chosen from adult learners and educators nominated by local program instructors and staff for their contributions to the completion of academic goals.

For information on the AEL program at KC, visit

About TALAE:

The Texas Association for Literacy and Adult Education was formed in 1968 as the Texas Association for Continuing Adult Education with the purpose of providing professional development, networking and statewide recognition to adult education programs in Texas. The organization offers membership to educators across the state as well as adult education students. Students have the opportunity to be nominated by their instructor and win an annual monetary award ($1,200 for HSE students and $500 for ESL students) based on their academics, effort, persistence, leadership and community involvement.

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