MASON CITY, Iowa – It’s the time of year for graduations, but not all ceremonies are the same. For a group of local students especially, their diplomas are not just pieces of paper.
For Twyla Shellhart, this is one big step through the tough part.
“Working hard is what you need to know throughout your whole life. Just to work hard and accomplish things, you need to get accomplished,” said Shellhart.
She and 59 other students are graduating from the Mason City Alternative School. Twyla wants people to know that no matter how much you may want to give up on school, it’s worth it to stick it out.
“Cause I get to start my life and get my career on track,” said Twyla.
Principal of the alternative school, Dave Ciccetti, couldn’t agree more.
“I want them to take from this that this is just the first step.This isn’t an end in the road. Sometimes I feel kids think that I graduated from high school, now I’m done, they need to do more,” said Ciccetti.
From students to parents, everybody knows Ciccetti has a passion for pushing these kids to graduate. What he really wants them to realize though, is that they should be quite proud of themselves in getting to this point.
“It’s a dead end without a high school diploma and so to graduate 60 students, to get them on their way to hopefully have a successful future, then that’s really important to us. We’ve done our job if we can do that,” said Ciccetti.
Kids that attend the Alternative School usually are struggling with their credits or are looking for a smaller learning environment. This is the largest class of students the Alternative School has had graduate in the past 39 years.