Graduation at Decatur High

Graduation-1The crowd was electric at the graduation ceremony at Decatur High School last Friday. Parents, siblings, friends and extended family members of the 2013 graduates were packed like sardines on the bleachers of the football stadium. Although a request was made to the audience to stay seated and refrain from shouting out until all the graduate’s names were called, folks could not contain their elation and jumped out of their seats with pure joy when their loved ones marched across the stage. As I have reflected upon this night, I can understand why the emotions were so charged. Decatur High is a Title I school meaning that they receive additional funds to meet the needs of at-risk and low-income students. Decatur High, a school for white students up until the end of Jim Crow segregation, is proud of its diversity and can boast a 90% four-year graduation rate. In 2012, 87% of the graduates attended four-year colleges. For all of us in attendance, this night was a reminder of how far we have come as a society in accepting those with differences but also a testament to what happens when dedicated, hard-working teachers set high expectations for all students coupled with the support of parents and community. I speak from the heart because my daughter, Christine, who has a disability, was one of the at-risk students who graduated that night.

  1. Katie said:

    Congratulations, Beate, on the graduation of your daughter Christine! And thank you for the beautiful glimpse of the moment. I love how the hats and arms are waving at each other… Katie

  2. Bunny Ferrall said:

    So happy to hear the great news!! Tell Christine I am so proud of her!! I forwarded your post on to Betsy Stone! Zach graduates this Saturday! Love Bunny

    Sent from my iPhone

  3. Malgorzata Florkowska said:

    Hi Beate,

    Your last blog brought tears to my eyes! Congratulation to Christine, and to you and Tim. You must be very proud. I hope the next chapter in Christine’s life is going to be happy and prosperous, and she will be able to find what she would like and enjoy to do in her future life.

    All the Best,


    • Amy Mitchell said:

      I’m so proud of you Christine. You are so very fortunate to have your parents, your champions. Love to you always. Your second grade teacher, Amy Mitchell

  4. Tracy Cox Witherspoon said:

    and she was on top of the world! I loved watching her make the walk! The kids sitting behind us said how sweet she is and what a joy to know her. Congratulations on having your first graduate. I look forward to hearing about her bright future.

    Fond regards, Tracy

    • Yes, Christine was radiant. I could feel her excitement all the way up into the bleachers. Thank you!

  5. Congratulations to Christine! I know you are very proud.

  6. Walt Wager said:

    It was so special to meet Christine. Our best to her on her graduation, and to you and Tim for your perseverence and suport that helped her achieve this milestone. Our love to you all, Walt & Barbara

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