Austin Carr

The first student to register and complete a test was Sutter Creek resident Austin Carr. 

After a year and a half of coordinating with Pearson Vue testing services and much work on the part of many ACUSD staff members, Amador Adult Education has opened a GED testing center at the Adult Education school site which is co-located on the Independence High School campus. Saturday, January 16th, 2021 marked the first opportunity to take a GED test in Amador County. The first student to register and complete a test was Sutter Creek resident Austin Carr. 

This exciting news comes as a support improvement provided to local adults looking to complete a high school equivalency. According to the GED website, “The GED test has opened doors to better jobs and college programs for more than 20 million graduates since 1942. The GED test is accepted by virtually all U.S. colleges and employers. The GED Testing Service has a responsibility to ensure that the program continues to be a reliable and valuable pathway to a better life for the millions of adults without a high school diploma.”

The goal to bring a GED testing center to Amador County has a long history and remarkable human interest element. In 1973 when Ninette Shearer was hired to be a counselor at Amador High School, she recognized the need for a local GED testing center. From that time until now the only way to take a GED test was to travel at least 30 minutes outside of the county. Ms. Shearer has spoken about this goal often since that time and even after her retirement nearly 15 years ago. However, the needed funds, staffing, and specific facility to open a local testing center seemed insurmountable. But, in 2015 when adult education was reimagined at the state level, Butch Wagner, then principal of Amador Adult Education, began to build a vision for expanded adult education services that included providing a local option for the GED test. 

Fast-forward to 2019 when that plan was set into motion. It is not an exaggeration to say that it has taken quite a collaboration between staff across the district to bring this project to fruition. From the IT department staff including Brian Enos, Jerry Howe, and Dan Hebert to the business department staff of Nancy Kohlman and Julie Parr to the Adult Ed staff of Brett Watson, Melissa Case, Toccara Shepard, Lori Martinez and Diana Griffin. All told it took many hours and a lot of people to bring this service to Amador County. However, the person who ultimately brought it across the finish line was Diana Griffin. According to Amador Adult Education Principal, Kelly Hunkins, “Diana’s persistence and dedication to this project is the real reason the GED test is available locally.” And here’s the thing…..Diana Griffin is the daughter of Ninette Shearer. This type of ‘full-circle’ closure is a rare thing in today’s world but still exists here in Amador County.

Students over 18 interested in registering for the GED test can inquire online at or contact Amador Adult Education at (209) 257-5110. Interested students can also contact Amador Adult Ed to register for a free course to prepare for the test.