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The first grads of Renton's Secondary Learning Center

Secondary Learning Center graduates are: Shelbey Andrews-Partman, Jose Magana, Edgar Chale-Basto, Joshua Dowdy, Alejandro Mendoza, Heather Jobe, Armen Kasabov, Karisma Mehta, Shantel Riggs, Adrian Sahagun, Noris Medina, Mychael Turner and Scott Cruz.  - Submitted
Secondary Learning Center graduates are: Shelbey Andrews-Partman, Jose Magana, Edgar Chale-Basto, Joshua Dowdy, Alejandro Mendoza, Heather Jobe, Armen Kasabov, Karisma Mehta, Shantel Riggs, Adrian Sahagun, Noris Medina, Mychael Turner and Scott Cruz.
— image credit: Submitted

The Secondary Learning Center, the Renton School District's non-traditional school, got its first class of graduates recently.

Fourteen students became the first class ever to graduate from the school that opened its doors this school year. Students enrolled at the Secondary Learning Center take an "unconventional path to graduation," the district posted on its Facebook page.

The school allows for a more flexible program of study that accommodates specific challenges and obstacles the student might face. The students at Tuesday's commencement spoke of obstacles, such as losing interest in school, falling behind and eventually dropping out of school because of embarrassment, the district reported.

In her graduation speech Heather Jobe recalled what helped her on her journey from Sartori to the Secondary Learning Center.

"This year has been hard and we all have our own reasons why, but we made it here tonight," Jobe said. "It was difficult and we still managed to pull ourselves together. None of us would be here if it wasn't for the constant encouragement that we have received during our lowest moments. Now we are prepared for the real world with knowledge and intelligence."

Students in the Secondary Learning Center's first graduating class have plans to enroll at Renton Technical College, Bellevue Community College, four-year universities or continue working to eventually pay for higher education.

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