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Graduates leave prepared for a bright future

I have written about this subject before – I believe in our Profile magazine a couple of years ago that featured outstanding students in Morgan County. Still, not many people know this about me: I didn’t graduate from high school. I technically am a high school dropout.  

I think about that around this time every year because I spend a lot of time focusing my attention on our graduation coverage in the newspaper – and, even when it’s not graduation season, there are great things going on in our school district all the time.  

I don’t regret the decision I made. After all, I didn’t drop out to quit altogether: I went on to college early and ending up taking 12 credits with me. I just didn’t enjoy high school and wanted to move on to something better.  

It was different than it seems to be now, and part of me wishes the amazing programs I see students thrive in now would have been available to me and my peers 15 years ago.  

Programs like the health and manufacturing academies at Hartselle High School, which start preparing high school students for college and trade school when they are freshmen, are one of the many reasons this school district has such a reputation for excellence.  

I’m sure there are so many more; the opportunities are endless and will only continue to grow.  

I was privileged to attend the signing of 10 TigerLaunch graduates at Sonoco this past week, and next Tuesday, members of Gov. Kay Ivey’s office will visit the program. The event made me wonder why our society pushes everyone to pursue a four-year degree, when many of these 18yearold young adults will graduate high school and, with no debt, have the potential to earn $100,000 a year.  

Amazing things are happening in Hartselle City Schools, and for those who just walked across the stage and graduated, you’re about to enter some of your most pivotal and challenging years. They can be some of the most remarkable and rewarding  if you’re willing to put in the work.  

Congratulations, graduates, on this achievement, and best of luck in whatever you choose to do in the future.  

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