Crossroads High School graduation

Crossroads High School graduate Cyndell Kennedy smiles after receiving her diploma Jan. 11. A total of 14 graduates received their diplomas at the ceremony.

Cove ISD/OLGA PEÑa

Crossroads High School students graduated during a ceremony for the school’s Winter 2013 class Friday at the Lea Ledger Auditorium. Nine of 14 students received diploma’s in front of family, friends and teachers.

“I’m really excited to be here and very proud to be graduating from Crossroads High School,” said Halie Goble, 17, as she waited in the lobby before commencement.

Besides students, teachers, friends and family the graduation ceremony was attended by the Copperas Cove Independent School District’s administrative leaders and board of trustees.

“I’m so proud of them,” said Crossroads secretary Sharon Whitis, who coordinated most of the event. “Many of these students have overcome some very serious challenges like teen parenthood and even homelessness to be here,” she added crying as she spoke about the students’ accomplishments.

Guest speaker and former Crossroads Principal Jimmy Shuck echoed those sentiments as he commended the graduates.

“The thing that stays true to me is that you’ve persevered,” he said. “You put the work into getting to your goal.”

As graduates of one of the district’s alternative education schools, the hardships many of these students endured while earning their diplomas became a focal point in the ceremony’s speeches.

“I feel accomplished. At first, I was worried that I wouldn’t make it but I did,” graduate Pauline Daugherty said. “I want to add that I couldn’t have done it without the help of Ms. Whitis and my teacher, Mr. Wright.”

Family members and friends of graduates attending the ceremony said it meant a lot to their students.

“It’s a new beginning for him,” said Philana Anderson, girlfriend of graduate Tavius Smith. Anderson attended the ceremony with her and Smith’s 8-month-old daughter, Kaliyah.

Copperas Cove Independent School District Superintendent Joseph Burns’ speech offered words of encouragement.

“Everyone here in Copperas Cove loves you and will be praying for you,” he said. “No matter where you end up, we’ll be cheering for you.”

The ceremony concluded with Principal Colby Blackwell asking parents to stand in recognition of the supportive role they played in helping their graduates achieve success.

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