Camp Verde Alternative High commencement<br><i>First graduating class received diplomas</i>

Staff photo by Dean H. Borgwardt

CAMP VERDE Unified School District Superintendent Ron Maughan speaks during commencement ceremonies of Camp Verde's alternative high school. Maughan welcomed parents and friends of the graduating class as the school board and educators attended the celebration.

Four of 15 alternative high school students completed the program and received their diplomas as proud family members and educators looked on.

Maughan said that the school board and the administrators are as pleased as the graduating students are of their accomplishments.

"We are glad to see success here and to recognize the graduates," Maughan said. "It wouldn't happen if it weren't for the parents, and I congratulate the students for having vision to see the future with their place in success."

Andy Ayres, president of the governing board, thanked the parents of the graduating class for their efforts in helping the teens through the first step of their future.

While addressing the graduating class, Ayres said, "You have attained a level of success and the beginning of your future. Thanks to your parents and good educators, you have reached a goal and are on the way to success."

Alternative high principal Jim Taylor presented the graduates with their diplomas and a congratulatory monetary gift to each graduate from Com Con Inc. of Camp Verde.

Alternative High School teacher Cecy Gilbert said that the students might be a little shy because they graduated late, but they should be proud because some students just give up.

"We're proud of them," Gilbert said. "They had the tenacity to come back to school and finish the program. That's what makes it worthwhile."

Gilbert added that Crystal Bauer, the spouse of an alternative high school graduate, was awarded an honorary diploma having completed a home schooling program.

She said that the graduating class, age 18 and older, "were unable to finish their high school programs for reasons beyond their control, but the alternative school offers them a chance to finish with a high school diploma instead of a general equivalency diploma."

The alternative high school is a cooperative effort of the Camp Verde Unified School District and the superintendent's office of Yavapai County School's.

Gilbert said that Camp Verde Unified School District furnishes the supplies, the classroom facility and the funds and the county pays salaries for one teacher and a teaching aide.

Dr. Paul Street, Yavapai County superintendent of schools, said that alternative schools like Camp Verde's helps put education life back into place for students who have special challenges.

"It's like a puzzle that needs to be worked with," Street said.

"I'm thrilled about your success," he said, addressing the graduating class.

Maughan acknowledged Dr. Amber Lee, alternative school coordinator, for her work in establishing the alternative high school program and hopes for continued success.

Gilbert said that the alternative school's curriculum is computerized instruction, independent study and traditional textbook application.

"So many students don't finish high school for whatever reason," Gilbert added. "But these students made the commitment and finished the program. We're proud of them."

For information about the Camp Verde Alternative High School, call the school's office at 567-8076.

Classes are held morning until noon, Monday through Friday in the old elementary school building by the Yavapai College Camp Verde campus.

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