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Roughrider Academy, Center ISDs newest campus focused on providing a
self-paced curriculum for students in secondary education, hosted their
inaugural graduation for 16 students on January 4.
“I am so proud of these students and honored to get to work with them,”
Roughrider Academy Director Jill Gaston said. “These students worked
extremely hard to complete all requirements of the State of Texas to
graduate.  They enrolled on our campus by choice, took their education
seriously, and completed their high school education in their own time. I
sincerely wish them all the best in whatever path they choose, be it work,
college, trade school, or military.”
Kendyl Ray delivered a tearful student address, thanking the RRA staff and
her family for aiding in her accomplishment and addressing the transition
from Center High School to Roughrider Academy.
“Moving to the Academy was a hard and stressful move,” Ray said. “I gave up
all the bells and whistles of my senior year to graduate early and be here
today giving my student address. I constantly had people telling me I was
making a terrible choice, and I would be crazy to [change schools]. Well,
looks like I’m crazy because I have to say, this was the best decision of
my life.”
Superintendent James Hockenberry accepted the graduates before diplomas
were awarded.
“I appreciate the opportunity to offer remarks about the Roughrider Academy
Graduation ceremony,” Hockenberry said. “The newest Center ISD campus, the
Roughrider Academy, is far exceeding our expectations for the first year.
To witness and participate in the first-ever graduation ceremony for
Roughrider Academy is one of the finest and emotional moments of my career.
“I want to personally congratulate each of the 16 graduates and thank them
for having the courage to take a different path toward a common goal. I
also want to commend Mrs. Gaston and her team for creating and executing a
new vision and direction for a large part of our student population. I look
forward to many more graduation ceremonies in the future.”
The Roughrider Academy graduates are:
Maria Guadalupe Angel
Kissel Arcibar
KeyShawn L Barnes
Aurora Bustos Camacho
Calob Matthew Chisenhall
Da’Rya Onea Eaden
Jesus J Gonzalez
Sparkle Shanavia Lilly
Caleb Michell McDonald
Kendal Jewel Ray
Tavares Elisha Riley
Miguel Antonio Robledo
Pablo Ruben Roldan
Hunter Paul Smith
Elizabeth Jill Starkey
Kobe Michael Whisenant

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