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Twenty-one students earned their diplomas May 27 from Long View High School — a small alternative school serving Jefferson County students. The ceremony, scheduled to be outside at the school, was held at Warren Tech due to rain.
Graduates were individually celebrated by their teachers with unique introductions and each student sharing their thoughts on graduation day.
Keynote Speaker Colorado Senator Andy Kerr told the graduates that listening is the heart of learning and to never stop doing that.
“You have arrived where many never do and you took the harder road,” Kerr said in his address to the students, who enrolled at Long View because their needs were not being met by their home school for variety of reasons: hyper activity, drugs, playing video games, tremendous anxiety or being withdrawn for example.
“You are an accomplished family,” Kerr said. “Inspire each other to do more.”
Long View, in its 23rd year of operation, graduated its 300th student this year. Avalon Yates was celebrated as the 300th graduate. He was the first student to receive his diploma at this years commencement ceremony.
The alternative school is housed in a 50-year-old temporary structure on the hill of Jefferson County Public Schools’ Life Long Learning Center campus in Lakewood. It was the subject of some debate earlier this year when Jeffco Public Schools staff proposed moving the school into the larger campus at McClain High School, which is also located on the Life Long Learning Campus.
But parents, students, alumni and staff said doing so would be the demise of the program.
After negotiations with the district, Long View will remain on the hill for the 2017-18 school year. Then the fate is up in the air again, said head teacher Jennifer Perry-Daly.
“We hope to remain in our current location forever,” Perry-Daly said. “We work really well up there.”
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