ASPIRE graduates Class of 2017 |

ASPIRE graduates Class of 2017

Candra Barringer gets emotional while thanking her family at the ASPIRE Academy High School graduation ceremony on Tuesday night.
Jim Grant | The Record-Courier

graduating class


John Markos Angelides

Candra page Barringer

Natasha Lee Buckingham

Sabrina Marie Collins

Emma Lorrainne Courtney

Kolbie Tyler Cueva

Dominick Raymond Dexter

Isaiah Wolfe Echavarria

Robert James Great

Franciso Ruben Gaonzales

Andrew Noel Jones

Marc-Anthony Valentino Lobato

Brandon Michael William Lucia

Mahiigan Jichaak Mattson

dale Patrick McDonald

Ulysses Ruelas

Savannah Ciera Sides


Gloria Geanne Dilly

Dominic Scott Fessler-Pittman

William Lawrence Foster

Michael Kistopher Gerth

Seth Austin Green

Joseph John Haris

Dawson James Jorgensen

Eric Blade Krites

Shiann Laree Laugheed

Andrew Joseph Maccagno

Kyler Joseph Michaels

Brandon James Perry

Franciso Javier Ramos

Katie Sue Wheeler

Tears of joy, accomplishment and acceptance followed by encouragement filled the Douglas County Senior and Community Center on Tuesday during the ASPIRE Academy High School commencement ceremony.

More than two dozen students graduated with adult and standard diplomas.

ASPIRE — all students pursuing integrity, responsibility and education — became an accredited high school in 2013. It offers credit acceleration and recovery, a technology-based classroom, smaller personalized education plans and character education for 9th through 12th-grade students.

As said in the ASPIRE belief statement, “We believe that all people at our school deserve a fresh start and should be accepted without judgment… We believe in using the second chance that ASPIRE offers to overcome past choices. We believe that ASPIRE is family.”

That was confirmed as each student gave a presentation on how they came to ASPIRE. Many students were academic deficient, some were teen parents and others were involved in crimes and drugs, but they all had one thing in common, they were given a second chance to change themselves and their future surrounded by acceptance, understanding and encouragement.

“Family grows together and learns together,“ said Principal Michelle Trujillo. “ASPIRE will forever be your family and we will always be here for each other.”

ASPIRE Academy High School senior Candra Barringer quoted Piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne, “Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”

ASPIRE may be a small school, but it accredits dozen of students who are grateful for that second chance to aspire their dreams and goals.

“Many of you came here with challenges and yet met your academic requirements,” said Superintendent Teri White. “Not only that, but you learned about yourself and the choices you had to make to get yourself here today. I challenge you to take the skills you have learned both academically and what makes your character you and make your tomorrow all you can be, make your life yours.”