NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - The self-paced Nacogdoches Independent School District high school program Martin School of Choice had its graduation today. The individual stories of how the graduates arrived and left the school aren't told, unless someone seeks them out.
Sometimes a person needs a second chance. Kasey Ballerd got it at Martin School.
"I dropped out whenever I was in Henderson," Ballerd said. "I was out for two, three months the first semester."
Sometimes a person needs a bit of help and encouragement. Sammantha Richardson got it at Martin School.
"I had, I guess a falling-out kind of thing," Richardson said. "Just better for me to get all my grades together. I just needed to step up." And others learn to set their own example. It happened at Martin School for Kwanna Christopher.
"I'll be the first person to graduate in my family," Christopher said.
And there's even a place for the student who just wants to move on. Martin School let it happen for Wyatt Tindall.
"I never really fell behind in anything," Tindall said. "I was pretty straight-A student. 4.0 GPA , but just wanted to get out a little earlier.">
Yet the students, most who graduated early, budgeted time to participate in Martin School's graduation program.
They came back from jobs, studies, and responsibilities to see it through to the end.
"Once they've hit that notion that this can be done, that they can do this then they want it," said Dimitri Starovic, a teacher at the school. "There's nothing that's going to stop them."
The self-paced program got Ballerd back on track.
"And then I did my junior-senior year in half a semester," Ballerd said.
Richardson no longer looks down on herself. Self-esteem is no problem.
"I'm feel pretty proud," Richardson said. "And I'm glad I made it here, this far and I hope I can go a lot, lot further."
Christopher now carries a diploma, making her grandmother,the lady who raised her, so proud.
"I gave myself hope and I did good," Christopher said.
And Tindall, who zoomed through his final graduation requirements in only a week, has his tech school studies all lined out.
"I'll be starting June 22 and I'll be graduating in December of 2016," Tindall said.
The plans for life are unique to the individual, but the common ground is they are all graduating with confidence.
There were 25 graduates of Martin School of Choice. Among them was Cody Langley who received a scholarship from the U.S. Navy.