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First 2024 CHCCS Graduates Receive Diplomas

winter 2024 graduates

The first graduation ceremony of the new year took place on Friday morning, January 26 in the newly refurbished gym of Phoenix Academy High School (PAHS). Eight students from PAHS and the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) received their diplomas in front of family, friends, school staff and CHCCS leaders. Another cohort of classmates will graduate in June 2024.

After the traditional processional, Assistant Principal Ryan Kulikowski welcomed attendees and extended his congratulations to the students. CHCCS Chief of Staff Brandy Reeves shared brief remarks, as did PAHS graduating student Xavier Caldwell.

Before presenting the diplomas, Principal Dr. Jon Dixon spoke to the graduates.

“We are here to celebrate a profound journey - a transformational odyssey that has shaped these graduates into the remarkable individuals we honor and celebrate today,” Dixon said.  “Picture, if you will, the unfolding chapters of their lives, each guided by the lessons that were learned as high school students at our Academies.”

Dixon’s speech highlighted the direction and inspiration available to the students in the Core Values of the CHCCS Strategic Plan 2027.            winter Phoenix graduation

Engagement: “Students, I encourage you to engage fully with the world around you,” Dixon said. “Reflect on those moments in your academic journey that ignited your passion.  How can you carry that spirit of engagement into your future endeavors, career, and family life?”

Social Justice Action: “I encourage you to be brave and take a stand for what is right.  I challenge each of our graduates here to think about how you can be an advocate for justice in your community.  And, understand that your commitment to justice isn't just a responsibility - it's a force that can reshape communities, challenge norms, and create a world that values fairness and equity.” 

Collective Efficacy: “Your shared strength is a force multiplier, capable of overcoming obstacles and achieving remarkable feats.  This journey isn't just about individual success; it's about the collective impact you can create and sustain in your community.”

Wellbeing: “Prioritize your well-being.  Your well-being is not just a personal investment; it's a reservoir of strength that enables you to face unusual challenges, bounce back from setbacks, and still radiate positivity to all those around you.

Joy: “Reflect often on the joys you experienced in high school. Life can be viewed as a series of moments, and each one of these moments is an opportunity for true happiness. Acknowledge that joy is not a fleeting emotion; it's a lasting mindset that transforms challenges into opportunities, and setbacks into stepping stones toward success.”

family winter graduation

Dixon said, “Class of 2024, the world eagerly anticipates your brilliance and your good hearts.  You are not just graduates; you are ambassadors of positive change. As you step into the wider world, carry the torch of our school's vision, mission, and core values to guide you.” 

After the students on stage received their diplomas and handshakes from administrators and Board of Education members Barbara Fedders, Vickie Feaster Fornville, Meredith Ballew, Rani Dasi and Chair George Griffin, the recessional was met with many tears and cheers. Graduates and their guests enjoyed a spread of treats and beverages as they posed for happy photos.

Congratulations to the new graduates and their families! Click here to see the graduation video.

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