GREENVILLE — Thirty-four students of Achievement Center for Educational Success (ACES) were honored in a graduation ceremony Wednesday morning at Romer’s Catering in Greenville.
ACES Coordinator Jeff Vaughn thanked everyone for attending the event.
“Thanks to all parents, family members, community members and especially school personnel who were willing to give the students the opportunity to attend ACES,” he said. “The program truly would not be a success without the support of the school districts that believes in ACES and our mission to help young people graduate from high school. One goal of ACES is to help students become successful individuals in society and make decisions that are positive.”
He and ACES staff members Deron Johns, Marcia Schlechty and Dawn Coy presented ACES students with special awards.
Graduates honors this year were Alex Beam and Macy Kress, both of Ansonia; Tanner Burgess, Dylan Hinch, Caitlyn Greve, Tonya Madden, Chet Musselman, Hunter Nickol and Philip Turner, all of Arcanum-Butler; Tyler Crabtee, Lane Gill, Larissa Knight, Bryce Lear and Cameron Lear, all of Bradford; Logan Garman and Michel “Brad’” Hart, both of Covington; Kyle Dole, Rebekah Lacey-Silvia and Emly Newman, all of Franklin Monroe; Michael Allen, Austin Carpenter, Isaiah Craiger, Destiny Neukam, Lindsey Rapier, Austin Stewart and Kathryn Zeller, all of Mississinawa Valley; Ben Abernathy and Zach Whiting, both of Newton; Levi Back, Tyra Brown and Gaven Herring, all of Tri-Village; and Mailani Barber, Dalton Koeper and Paige Partin, all of Versailles.
Awards were presented to those who earned various credits.
Those with seven credit or more this year were Courtney Cozart Jarrin Craiger, Destiny Neukam, Macy Kress, Lindsey Rapier, Paige Partin, Brook Roth, Allan Sheets and Gavin Herring, all from the first session; Tyra Brown, Tyler Crabtree, Jacob Riegle, Lane Gill, Lauren Banis, Lucas Baker, Majestic Thomas, Paige Waterbury, Skyler Reesby, Cameron Lear, Dylan Hinch, Hannah Bean, Ian Tedore and Rebekah Lacey-Silvia, all from the second session; and Caitlyn Greve, Mikayla Goubeaux and Nathan Holcomb, all from the third session.
Most credits went to PJ Turner with 10 from first session, Ben Abernathy with 12.875 and Haley Renee O’Reilly with 12.25, both from the second session, and Larissa Knight with 12 from the third session; and most improved went to Jarrin Craiger from the first session; Skyler Reesby and Lucas Baker, both from the second session, and Mikayla Goubeaux from the third session.
Vaughn said 31 of Gateway’s 66 students are employed or have been employed during the school year.
Guest speaker was Mikayla Goubeaux of Franklin Monroe High School. She told of her experiences with Gateway and ACES.
“I came here my sophomore year,” said Goubeaux. “I missed so much school because I suffered from depression and anxiety in addition to having migraines, and I moved to Gateway. It freaked me out at first, but then I was super grateful.”
She said she enrolled at MVCTC in sports medicine in the thought of becoming a physical therapist.
“Then, I started missing school again and went back to school and Gateway,” she told the audience. “‘I am really grateful for this year. It’s been a long haul. I’ve changed. This year I learned how to deal with the real world thanks to a lot of people. First is Marcia [Schlechty]. She taught me how to look at the world in a selfless way. She taught me things could be much worse, and she helped me get into Yoga and get out into a social life and world.”
Goubeaux continued, “And, Jeff [Vaughn] was a big role model. He pushed me when I didn’t want to be pushed. He helped me get into Head Start and working with kids. He got me my job here at Romer’s. I absolutely enjoy my co-workers and boss. They helped bring me out of my shell and we have become great friends. I am a student at Sinclair, and am going to get my bachelor’s and Ph.D. in physics to help school kids.”
“The reason we are successful is we give these kids a chance,” said Vaughn. “We are family. These guys need a chance. They are not bad kids. I thank the schools for sending them to us. This is an awesome day for us. Today is always one of the best days of the school year for ACES staff and not because it is about over. It is truly a great day to celebrate the many successes that these young people have made this year.”
He reported that the year has been a successful one.
“In addition to the graduates, there are 31 students who advanced a grade level,” he said. “ACES has also helped 100 students through an independent study program.”
This is the 16th year that Gateway has offered the ACES program.
Afterwards, everyone was invited to go to Gateway ACES to witness the seniors signing the wall and to enjoy some refreshments.
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