The first graduate of the Excel Adult High School program in Sedalia was honored with a reception Monday evening at the Sedalia Public Library, 311 W. 3rd.

“Gale Presents: Excel Adult High School” offers an accredited high school diploma (not a GED) that is earned 100 percent online, with 24-7 access to the course on a self-paced schedule.

The program is accredited by Cognia, the parent organization of the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement, the Soutyern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, and the Northwest Accreditation Commission. The diploma is accepted by colleges, employers and the military, it was noted.

During the reception held in the library's board room, Barbara Ashley Debates thanked everyone for the opportunity to earn her high school diploma.

“It's something that I didn't think I'd ever really get to complete,” she said in her very brief speech.

That was followed by a toast by Sarah Harper, Outreach and Adult Services Librarian.

“Tonight, we gather to raise a toast to an exceptional individual who has achieved a remarkable milestone in her life. Let's all jon in celebrating Barbara, the very first graduate of our Excel program at the library. Your dedication and hard work has brought you to this momentous occasion, completing your high school diploma in just six or seven months is just amazing, and a testament to your determination and perseverance. Today, we stand here filled with pride, knowing your accomplishments are only the beginning of a bright and promising future. We have no doubt that you will continue to achieve greatness in all that you set out to do. So let us raise our glass high and toast to Barbara's success. May your journey ahead be filled with endless opportunities, personal growth and fulfillment. Here's to incredible achievements you've already accomplished, and to the ones ahead. Congrats,” Harper said.

Harper noted that there is currently one more student working through the Excel online program.

Sedalia Public Library Director Jamie Sparks said that “tonight, we have the honor of celebrating Barbara's accomplishments. She went in to the Excel program with no high school credits, and she completed the program of 22 courses in a little over six months. While this in itself is a huge accomplishment, Barbara did this while working, being a mom and taking care of her home and family,” Sparks said.

“And for anyone who balances work and home, you know that is a huge accomplishment. You made a goal for yourself, and you were determined to see it through,” Sparks told Barbara. “Nothing worth having comes easy.”

Sparks added that the money for the scholarships for the Excel program are provided through various community donations. “And we are very pleased that Barbara's scholarship was provided through the Sedalia Public Library Foundation. We thank the Foundation for their support of our program that has the potential to change so many lives in our community,” she said.

AM 1050 KSIS logo
Get our free mobile app

Sparks then thanked Harper for not only managing the Excel program but for “being the biggest cheerleader for our students and advocating for this program in our community. Without you, this program would not be possible.”

Sparks also thanked office manager Stephanie Sneed for setting up the reception held Monday night.

Byron Matson also attended the graduation ceremony and represented the nine-member library board.

For more information, visit or call (660) 826-1314.

In the top photo, Barbara Ashley Debates, center, poses with Sedalia Public Library Director Jamie Sparks, left, and Outreach and Adult Services Librarian Sarah Harper on Monday night in the board room of the library.

Excel graduation

Gallery Credit: Randy Kirby

LOOK: Do you know these iconic quotes from '70s TV shows

Stacker looked through the vast array of groundbreaking 1970s television and identified 25 of its most iconic (and most memorable) quotes. 

Gallery Credit: Sofia Voss

More From AM 1050 KSIS