Why I Love Graduation Day

Yesterday was Kingsbury’s graduation.  It was at the Orpheum again and was a much more enjoyable ceremony than last year’s, particularly because there was no graduation speaker giving a 30 minute sermon like last year.

While a number of my students graduated last year, the students in the class of 2012 were my 10th graders during my very first year of teaching.  I am so proud of everything they have accomplished, especially when it seemed like some of them would not make it to the finish line.

There are a few who slipped through the cracks this year.  There were two notable names missing for me: MC and LS.  LS got into a fight earlier this year that landed him in jail, which led to his expulsion and his decision to drop out.  I got to see him and talk to him at the soccer game yesterday afternoon; he said he was going to try and get his GED, but I’m not sure he will have the motivation to actually go through with it.

MC, of course, was not there, but two of his close friends, QC and TA were, which is definitely a victory.  Both of them told me they are planning to go to college next year.  QC may even try to take some summer classes to catch up before he goes to MTSU in the fall.

NW graduated early.  It turns out his band has been signed to a record deal, so he’s going to spend his time pursuing that.  If it doesn’t work out, he plans on going to Berkelee College of Music.

ZC, TC, JM, and MM all graduated as well, along with a bunch of other students, some I remember fondly and others who I vaguely recognize from the whirlwind that was that first year.  The best part of the day, though, was when TJ’s name was called and he walked across the stage to shake hands and receive his diploma.

TJ is probably the student I have talked about the most, both on here and in real life.  He was a challenge my first year, but also gave me hope.  At one point last year, he disappeared and I had no way of getting in touch with him.  He eventually returned to school and began to turn things around.

Last summer, TJ got involved with Reggie Davis and Streets Ministries, which was absolutely an answer to prayer.  I didn’t get a chance to talk to him at graduation (which I was really bummed about), but I have kept tabs on him through Reggie and Carmen, who talks to him pretty frequently.  From what I’ve heard, he’s planning on going to community college to get his grades up and then transferring to a 4-year school.  Pretty good for a kid who was going to drop out and/or join the military just because he felt he had no other option.

I am so proud of all the students who graduated yesterday and blessed to have gotten to be a part of their lives.

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1 Comment

  1. Dad

     /  May 20, 2012

    You were a large part of their success. Good job!!

    Reply

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  • A collection of ramblings and musings on Jesus, life, education, family, and anything else that pops into my head.

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