Forty-six students graduated from Learning Post Academy at a ceremony in Canyon High School’s performing arts center on Monday.
Learning Post is an independent-studies program in the William S. Hart Union High School District that allows students to study with flexible schedules, often allowing them more time to focus on extracurricular activities that could prepare them for life after high school and provide a different class structure for those with learning disabilities.
Juliet Fine, principal of Learning Post, said the variety of paths and challenges led students to Learning Post and what it took students to get to graduation was remarkable.
“Learning Post has so many different storylines as to what brings students to an online independent education,” said Fine. “So to see them get through any of their challenges and make this work just demonstrates their independence.”
The graduation ceremony began with a prelude and procession followed by a welcome speech delivered by Fine. Tatiana Rodriguez, a graduating student, gave the commencement address.
“Fellow graduates, I’m sure the path to this very day was not easy,” said Rodriguez. “However you came to be sitting in this auditorium, looking up at our teary-eyed parents, I congratulate you. You all should be so proud of yourselves.”
The commencement address was followed by the conferment of awards and scholarships, which included 24 Golden State Seal of Merit diplomas, 17 for the President’s Award for Educational Excellence, and 10 for the President’s Award for Educational Achievement.
The awarding of diplomas differs from other high schools as each student is individually awarded and a short biography and detail of future plans is read out to the audience.
Stephen Edmonds, a parent watching his son graduate, said it was a long road for his son but that he was quite proud to see this day finally come.
“This program was instrumental in… helping him get to the end goal,” said Edmonds. “It’s huge for us. I mean, just getting to see all the kids… you just forget all those young faces and, like, all the potential, so it’s emotional, not only for your own kid, but for all the kids.”
Edmond Naasz, a football player and graduating student, acknowledged that a lot of his classmates have gone through a lot to get to this point and that he is one of those people.
“Definitely, huge experience. Definitely took me a lot to get here, for sure,” said Naasz. “All paid off, for sure.”