A FORMER Shelley High School student has gained her doctorate and returned to her Huddersfield roots.
Alison Hramiak, 42, has graduated from Sheffield Hallam University with a doctorate in education.
She began studying for it in 1999, researching how technology could be used to teach people how to educate others.
She said: "It was a long project and very challenging."
Dr Hramiak moved back to Skelmanthorpe from Stalybridge in 2001, with her 42-year-old husband, Martin - a computing lecturer at Huddersfield Technical College - and sons Michael, nine, and Ben, four.
Dr Hramiak had lived in Skelmanthorpe as a child.
She left Shelley High in 1980 with four science A-levels. She gained a degree in plant biology at Newcastle University and became a microbiologist with ICI in Manchester.
While at ICI she did a master's degree in biochemistry and then went to work for an Altrincham laboratory software company.
She was initially employed as an analyst, but ended up as training and education manager.
Dr Hramiak travelled in Europe and America with the company, but when Michael was born she wanted to be closer to home.
She gained her teaching qualification and went to manage the IT teaching team at the Manchester College of Arts and Technology.
She started her doctorate in 1999, while at the college.
During her studies she had to overcome several major hurdles, the first being the death of her father, Derek Atkinson, in March, 2000.
Mr Atkinson, of Denby Dale, had been a director of Wakefield firm Headley Hydraulics.
The second hurdle came 11 weeks later, when Ben was born prematurely, at 24 weeks. Mr Hramiak gave up his former job as a roofing engineer to look after Michael.
Then Mr Hramiak's father died.
With no family ties left in Manchester the family moved to Skelmanthorpe, to be close to Dr Hramiak's mother, Dorothy Atkinson, who lives in Denby Dale. Mrs Atkinson retired last year after a 40-year career in psychiatric nursing.
After moving to Skelmanthorpe, Dr Hramiak became a sixth-form development worker at Shelley College and continued studying for her doctorate.
She was awarded it last May, but did not officially graduate until last month.
She is now in her dream job as applied IT course leader at Sheffield Hallam University's school of education.
This involves running teacher training courses for people wanting to become IT lecturers.
She said: "It's a brilliant job as it combines my knowledge of IT and my doctorate in education."