BY MICHAEL WALTON firstname.lastname@example.org
Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Adam Moyer never thought he’d graduate from high school.
Moyer, 19, dropped out two years ago. Last year, though, he moved to the Traverse City area from Livonia on his own. Moyer enrolled in Traverse City High School and on Friday he officially graduated with 33 of his classmates.
“I was kinda dying out,” Moyer said. “But now that I graduated, I feel I tackled that and now I can tackle college.”
Traverse City High School was one of several area schools celebrating graduation this weekend. Those holding ceremonies also include Traverse City Christian, Grand Traverse Academy, Traverse City College Preparatory Academy.
Traverse City Area Public Schools opened Traverse City High School, located on North Three Mile Road, more than 10 years ago to provide a safety net for students who were struggling in the district’s traditional high schools, said Principal Lance Morgan, who has been with the school since its inception.
Today the school on average hosts a student population of about 180, and Morgan looks forward to its graduation ceremony every year.
“It is a very moving ceremony,” Morgan said. “It is my favorite day of the year.”
Unlike most graduates, each student who graduates from Traverse City High School has a chance to deliver a short speech during the ceremony.
Moyer said Friday afternoon he plans to use his speech to thank his family and the staff at Traverse City High School, including Morgan.
“The patience and tolerance you have shown me is the reason I stand before you today,” Moyer said while practicing his speech.
Moyer now plans to attend Northwestern Michigan College, where he wants to pursue a career as a pilot.
Paige Austin, 17, also graduated Friday. She credited the school’s teachers and staff with helping her succeed.
“I can talk to any of the teachers and feel totally comfortable talking to them,” said Austin.
Austin added she’s excited and nervous about graduating, but she’s looking forward to her upcoming graduation party on Silver Lake.
“But I’m also excited to be done with school,” she said.
Traverse City Area Public Schools Board of Education President Kelly Hall, like Morgan, said the school’s graduation ceremony is one of their favorite nights of the year.
”I wouldn’t miss it,” Hall said. “Traverse City High School, in my opinion is a jewel in the TCAPS system that often flies under the radar.”