The Road to Success, Class of 2011 struggles with obstacles toward graduation

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Senior Jeremy Peterson shows his joy after graduating from Loy Norrix High School on June 8th. One hundred and ninety students walked in the 2011 ceremony

By Jazmine Houston

On June 8, 2011 Loy Norrix class of 2011 had their graduation ceremony who stared out as “Tiny little pip squeaks,” according to Ryan Allen, 2011 class adviser. They have climbed to become a class teachers say they will never forget.

“About 190 seniors graduated that night,” said Allen. He also said that the class was large as 350 students as incoming freshman.

Graduation might not seem like a big deal at first. Some might not take high school as serious as others. When you slack off freshman year, the consequences hit you when graduation comes around. Teachers are not lying when they say freshman year is the most important year of your high school career.

In senior Janise Reynold’s case, she couldn’t grasp the concept of math, so that affected her a lot. It can be really stressful.

“I felt pressured and determined to prove everyone who thought I couldn’t finish wrong,” said Reynolds. She said she stayed after school to get extra help and she also did Nova Net to get caught back up.

Reynolds couldn’t meet the requirements to graduate and receive her diploma on June 8th, but she met the requirement to walk with her class. According to Dean of students Valerie Boggan, the requirement to walk is 26 credits. However if the students have paid or enrolled into summer school, they were allowed to walk in the graduation ceremony. Reynolds will receive her diploma in the fall before she goes to college.

When students can’t graduate from public schools they often turn to alternative schools for help. The reason for that is because schools likePhoenixhave a lower requirement for credits to graduate. To graduate from Kalamazoo Public Schools this year you had to have 26 credits, where as atPhoenixyou had to have 22 credits.  It makes it easier. Former senior, Dominick Travis has been through a situation like this. He didn’t have enough credits to graduate fromLoyNorrixHigh School, so he turned toPhoenixfor guidance.

Last year’s Loy Norrix class of 2010 graduation rate was 65 percent according to Kalamazoo Gazette reporter, Julie Mack, of those originally enrolled as freshman. Schools like Parchment and Comstock have a higher graduation rate thanKalamazooPublic Schools, Loy Norrix andKalamazoocentral.

Graduation is such an exciting event. At the end you know all of your hard work has paid off.

“I felt nervous and happy all at the same time. All the excitement was just rushing through my body,” said Tatavana Foster as she explained her feelings before she walked on stage to get her diploma.

Class of 2011 class advisers Melissa Cone and Ryan Allen left the class of 2011 with some remarks,

“I wish them the best of luck in the whole world,” said Cone.

“The journey doesn’t stop. Always keep working,” Allen added.