Crossroads Early College graduates celebrate successes

Posted at 10:31 AM on May 19, 2017

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BY AMY FUHRMAN

Normally there isn’t a ton of emotion in numbers. But during the Crossroads Arts and Science Early College commencement, those numbers managed to paint a pretty incredible picture of the Class of 2017.

Principal Alicia Eller proudly informed the packed crowd at Mac Gray Auditorium that, of the 50 students graduating, 41 would receive associate degrees from Mitchell Community College as well. In addition, 46 of those 50 students have already committed to continuing their education — and they have plenty of colleges to choose from. The graduating class members have been accepted to 104 four-year colleges and universities and have been offered $1.4 million in scholarship money. And 29 of those students walked across the stage having earned a 3.7 grade-point average or higher.

“I am amazed at what we have accomplished navigating high school and college at the same time,” graduate Jilliam Tutterow said in his farewell remarks. “Every choice we’ve made has gotten us here.”

Graduate Katelyn-Marie Johnson expressed gratitude for both the challenges and creativity allowed in the early college program, saying that each student is a unique masterpiece.

“Our lives are pieces of art, and we still have a blank canvas to fill,” she said.

Bethany White asked her fellow graduates to think back to the beginning of their educational career — kindergarten — when anything seemed possible. Even, as she once dreamed, becoming a shining star in the sky.

“The sky was limitless for me then; why should it be limited now?” she said, encouraging the class to keep their creative spirits alive.

And graduate John Roach turned to the words of none other than Kanye West to echo a similar sentiment: "Reach for the stars so if you fall you land on a cloud.”

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