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NYACCE 2017 Outstanding Student of the Year 2017

BPS Adult Education Division students honored in Albany at 34th Annual Event

On Tuesday October 17, 2017, two Buffalo Public School Adult Education Division graduates were honored by the New York Association of Continuing/Community Education (NYACCE) as Outstanding Adult Student Award Recipients.

Ethan Clarke and Mubarak Ismail accepted their awards along with 18 other students from across New York State.  The emotional celebration, attended by educators, elected officials, family and friends, was held at the Clarion Century House Hotel outside of Albany.

Les Leopold, the Division’s Director of Adult and Continuing Education, noted Ethan’s persistence in earning his high school equivalency diploma (HSE) in the face of debilitating medical conditions.  While attending classes at the Division’s Career Collegiate Institute (CCI), Ethan also served as a Student Ambassador, participated in speaking engagements, and led building tours for prospective students.  He is now attending Erie Community College.

Mr. Leopold also recognized Ethan’s work mentoring area elementary school children, saying, “This student has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities for a young man of his age.”

Mubarak Ismail is a child of Darfur who was forced to flee Sudan at the age of 9.  After living as a refugee in Ghana, he came to Buffalo in 2015 and enrolled in the Adult Education Division’s HSE program a few weeks later.  Mubarak’s mother, father and siblings are still living in a refugee camp.

Mubarak’s determination, intelligence, and work ethic led him to improve rapidly.  According to Reginald Garner, a CCI Instructor, “Mubarak has shown remarkable leadership in and out of the classroom and never turns down a request for assistance.”  In addition to juggling his studies and full-time work, Mubarak finds time to help others from his country learn English and volunteers as a mentor for middle school students.

Both students were congratulated for their accomplishments by Kevin Smith, Deputy Commissioner, New York State Education Department (NYSED) Adult Career and Continuing Education Services.  NYSED works closely with NYACCE to insure that all state residents have access to quality adult education services.

More information about the Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division can be found at

Written by Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division

Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division

The Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division offers High School Equivalency (HSE) Diploma preparation classes and English as a Second Language (ESL) classes at sites across the city of Buffalo. In addition, the Division is an official New York State testing site for the TASC™ exam which has replaced the GED® as the official test for earning a HSE diploma from the NYS Education Department.

The Division also provides Career & Technical Education programs in Cosmetology, Barbering, and Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) along with Community Education classes in many other disciplines including construction trades, automotive, welding, computers, allied health office technology and facilities management.

All Western New Yorkers are welcome to attend classes.

For more information, call (716) 888-7088 ext 100. A complete listing of courses, descriptions, and schedules is available at

View All Articles by Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division
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