The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Honoring the Final 38 in Class of ’22

Honoring+the+Final+38+in+Class+of+22

Nora Malone, Emily Milton, Chloe Yokitis

Editors

It was the middle of summer break, but there were enough beaming parents, cheering siblings and teenagers in glistening gowns that you wouldn’t have known. On August 2, 38 ACHS seniors graduated after completing summer school courses to fulfill their graduation requirements. 

Summer school graduation, though smaller than the normal graduation in June at George Mason University, honors students who have completed their high school educations like a typical ceremony. Though most of their peers graduated in June, these grads participated in summer learning to earn any outstanding credits. A handful of students took summer school classes to finish high school in a shorter amount of time and graduate ahead of their peers, while others walked the stage for completing their GEDs. 

“This really means more to me, and I hope to you, than our June graduation,” said Dr. Gregory Hutchings, who served as ACPS superintendent at the time of the graduation, in his commencement speech. “Sometimes in life, you have obstacles or whatever your situation is as to why you’re graduating in August. Sometimes, people might have looked at you and felt like you weren’t gonna make it. Some people may not have believed that you were going to do it, but you did it. You did it!”

Other speakers included ACHS Executive Principal Peter Balas and administrator Christopher Thompson. While both acknowledging the challenges this graduating class has faced and celebrating their hard work thus far, Thompson called the class of 2022 “the most resilient class yet.”

He continued, “Behind the background of a global pandemic, you have shown that you are conquerors and your journey does not end tonight.”

As well as the many school officials in attendance, city figures like Vice Mayor Amy Jackson and School Board members Dr. Ashley Simpson Baird, Tammy Ignacio and Jacinta Greene also attended.

The event was supported by the ACHS JROTC Color Guard, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and raised the American flag. 

The Summer Learning program employs 39 teachers and administrators, including Summer School Principal and Academy 8 Assistant Principal Margaret Tran and Summer School Assistant Principal and Academy 2 Assistant Principal LaTrease Rich. This year, Summer School took place during four weeks from June-July, four days a week, as students worked diligently to earn credits that are usually earned over the course of a year.

“Everything just happened so fast, and I just had to keep working hard for so long through the summer [that] when [the back-to-school season] started, I kept having dreams of me in school or dreams that I should be in school,” said ‘22 graduate Eva Reumann, who attended summer school so that they could finish high school in three years. “That feeling has mostly subsided, though.”

Though summer school graduation takes place every year, the class of 2022 boasted the largest summer school graduating class in recent years with nearly 40 grads. According to senior Deanna Kosinski, the intimacy at summer graduations is better than that of the June graduations. She attended the June 2022 graduation as well as the 2021 and 2022 summer school graduations to celebrate her friends.

“I honestly like it better than the big graduations. It feels more personal,” said Kosinski. She came to the 2022 summer graduation with friend and fellow senior Maggie Carlson.

“It was really nice to see all the kids together, actually walking across the stage and getting handed their diplomas,” said Carlson, noting the differences between in-person and COVID-era ceremonies. “It’s just very nice to see.”

All photos by Chloe Yokitis for Theogony

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Honoring the Final 38 in Class of ’22