Dr. Glenn Kitchens, An American Graduate Champion
Dr. Glenn Kitchens, principal of Water Valley High School (Water Valley, MS) for the past twelve years, is transitioning to the role of principal at Lafayette High School (Oxford, MS). He firmly believes in the importance of graduation for all students. His positive attitude, support and determination make him an American Graduate Champion.
Graduation from high school is almost always the difference between you making your own decisions and someone else making them for you. There just aren't options for you without a diploma. Dropping out is like giving away your freedom. You either get to be a part of making your own decisions, or you are handing the decisions off to other people. You have to rely on others when you should have the opportunity to speak for yourself.
One of the things that a high school diploma does is tells an employer that you are willing to put in the time and effort to see something through to completion. Even the student who has not decided on what to do long-term needs to graduate.
It is important to sit with them and tell them they are capable. They can graduate. It may mean putting more emphasis on some classes than others to bring all grades up to passing, but it can be done.
There are many, many routes, but it all starts with a high school diploma. While the transcripts are different, everybody's diploma is the same. They all meet the requirements for that diploma. We are then able to say that you are prepared for the next step, whatever that next step is. However, it is hard to have a next step without that high school diploma.
Have an inspirational story of an American Graduate champion in your life? Share it with us in the comments, and consider nominating your hero as an American Graduate Champion.