July 23, 2010 9:42:00 AM
Jason Browne - firstname.lastname@example.org
WEST POINT -- Eight West Point students will walk away from high school with their diplomas tonight.
The West Point School District will host its first summer graduation ceremony tonight at 6:30 p.m. at the West Point High School-South auditorium. Eight graduates were able to complete their graduation requirements over the summer months and Assistant Superintendent Robin Miles says they''ve earned their right to walk.
"We want these students to have the opportunity to participate in a graduation ceremony and to be recognized for their achievement. Our summer graduation exercises will allow students this opportunity just as our local colleges do for their graduates," said Miles.
The summer ceremony is something West Point has hoped to institute for several years, but hadn''t had enough graduates to warrant a ceremony. Miles said the district would be open to holding a similar winter ceremony if enough students graduate after the first semester of the school year.
She says the graduation ceremony, or walking, is an incentive which drives students to complete their diploma requirements.
"Walking is a huge incentive for our kids. I don''t know if it''s the dream of walking and getting that diploma, but when you talk to our kids that''s one of the things they talk about," she said.
R.H. Brown, pastor of Living Manna Church in West Point and a reporter for WCBI-TV, will deliver the commencement address to the graduates.
Columbus and Lowndes County schools have held summer graduation ceremonies in the past but aren''t planning one this year. Starkville school officials could not recall any summer ceremonies.