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A new perspective for high school graduates

Perspectives-Calumet High School of Technology students pose for a photo with one of several administrators.

Tom Vasa

In 2006, the former Calumet High School closed its doors, graduating its last class of nearly 120 graduates. Simultaneously, a new day presented itself for Auburn Gresham residents and students, as Perspectives Charter School (PCS)-Calumet became the new occupant of the Calumet facility.

More than just a occupant, PCS brought their best practices to enroll and graduate Auburn Gresham elementary and high school students over the past years.

In its second year of graduating high school students, Perspectives Charter High Schools - Calumet (School of Technology and the Leadership Academy) graduated a combined 162 students from their high schools. More impressively, these students were accepted to more than 70 colleges and universities throughout the country and awarded nearly $7 million in scholarships.

PCS-Calumet's success would not be possible if community stakeholders had not played a role in welcoming them to the community. These stakeholders include but are not limited to State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16), Alderman Howard Brookins Jr (D-21), Alderman Latasha Thomas (D-17), the Auburn Gresham Transitional Advisory Committee (TAC), the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC), and Ernst & Young LLP.

Co-Valedictorians, DeJena Shaw & Marianna Streater deliver words of thanks and celebration to their graduating class of 2012.

Makinde Adedapo

Highlights from both graduations included invocations from local clergy, followed by welcome and valedictorian addresses by Nakeya Boyles (Salutatorian, Leadership Academy), Jaire Sims (Valedictorian, Leadership Academy), Shaneka Crawley (Salutatorian, School of Technology), and DeJena Shaw & Marianna Streater (Co-Valedictorians, School of Technology).

Guest speakers also contributed to the success of these graduations. Dr. James Peterson, the Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University and Mr. Syron Smith with Ernst & Young LLP offered timely and encouraging remarks to prepare the graduates to embark upon new opportunities.

Preparing these graduates has been a most remarkable task as PCS-Calumet high school principals Tony Pajakowski (School of Technology) and Heather Haines (Leadership Academy) and their highly motivated staff have spent countless hours educating students to reach this milestone.

As a result of these levels of commitment, over the last four years, 92 percent of Perspectives graduates were accepted to college and as of this previous fall, 76 percent of that number are still enrolled in college.

Keywords: Alderman Howard Brookins Jr (D-21), Alderman Latasha Thomas (D-17), Auburn Gresham Transitional Advisory Committee (TAC), Dr. James Peterson, Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation (GADC), Mr. Syron Smith with Ernst & Young LLP, Perspectives Charter Schools, State Senator Jacqueline Collins (D-16), the Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University

Posted in Community Highlights


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