The Big Spring Independent School District's Career Academy, designed to give dropouts and at-risk students another chance at a diploma, is seeing the first fruits of its efforts.
Director Charlie Thomas said the academy, which opened its doors at the start of this school year, has already produced its first high school graduate.
“We got our first graduate (Friday), plus we have a few kids who are getting pretty close,” Thomas said.
The academy's first graduate will receive her diploma at Big Spring High School graduation ceremonies in May.
The first graduate is a 22-year-old who initially failed to graduate in 2006 when she could not successfully complete the state-mandated Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) high school exit exam. Thomas said the academy's tutoring program helped the young woman scale that final academic hurdle, but most of the credit goes to the student.
“She's an extremely bright student who wants to be a phlebotomist,” Thomas said. “In fact, she's going to remain at the academy, taking concurrent courses through Howard College, until she receives her diploma.”