CENTER — Center Schools’ Academic Recovery Center (ARC) sent three graduates out into the world Saturday during a graduation ceremony held at Center auditorium and administration building.
ARC provides an alternative education program helping students finish their high school diplomas by offering one-on-one instruction both during the day and in the evenings to work around the schedules of those attending. It also allows those who have been unable to keep up with regular high school classes, for one reason or another, to still finish their schooling with a high school diploma.
Briana Chavez, Jaqueline Hinostroza and Richard Dean received diplomas. Devan Kingery also graduated, but was unable to attend the ceremony.
Center Schools’ Superintendent Chris Vance introduced the graduating class and ARC director Joy Werner gave the class address and recognition speech.
“This class will go down as one of my favorites,” Werner began. “It is small but mighty.” She congratulated graduates on exhibiting perseverance and fortitude and their stick-to-it attitude in achieving their goals.
“Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent of how you act on it,” she reminded her students. “The mission of this academy is to allow kids who may not have the perfect circumstances” to graduate high school along with their peers.
She then told the students’ stories, relating how one student worked 40 plus hours at a job but managed to finish his class time. Another student had to finish early to help out her family and realized that goal. A third student “never skipped a beat” even though tending to her newborn.
“They always had smiles on their faces and just kept going,” Werner marveled.
She concluded her speech by noting that these students’ “word was their bond,” and with that outlook they moved further down the road each day. “They have a real opportunity for success.”
Class colors were red and silver and the class flower was a silver-tipped red rose. The class motto was Abraham Lincoln’s words: “Whatever you are, be a good one.”
The recessional song was Kenny Chesney’s “Don’t Blink.” The class prayer asked the Lord to “bless [graduates] at the starting gate with all the keys they’ll need.”