The first class of graduates from Bradley County Virtual School walked across the stage to receive their high school diplomas on Friday.
This was the first year Bradley County Schools offered the predominately online school to students.
The four virtual school graduates joined Reach Adult High School and Bradley County Adult Education students to celebrate the completion of their accomplishments.
Reach Adult High School graduates are adults who have come back to finish their high school diploma. Bradley County Adult Education graduates received their GED diploma.
Virtual School graduate Kea Wooten had been home-schooled for a year prior to being a virtual school.
“It was interesting. It was new. It was fun,” Wooten said. “And really convenient because I have a baby.”
Wooten said she enjoyed the flexibility of the program to fit with her schedule.
Fellow graduate Elizabeth Maynard said the program had been “complicated.” Maynard was glad to have the virtual school opportunity after asking her parents to home-school her.
“We’ve had a very good year and we are certainly looking forward to next year,” BCVS Principal Zoe Renfro said.
Renfro is also the principal of Reach Adult High School and Bradley County Adult Education.
“All of these students needed a nontraditional way to complete their educations. I am so proud to work for a school system that believes that every person deserves an education,” Renfro said.
Bradley County Adult Education Santasha Davis said she appreciated the encouragement that the school’s staff gave her.
“By me going back to school, I inspired my sister, my son and a family friend to also go back to school,” Davis said.
Davis said the GED tests were “intimidating.” Yet, after each one she passed she was “so happy.”
This year’s is the largest graduating class Bradley County Adult Education has seen.
Davis will attend Cleveland State Community College in the fall.
Fellow graduate James Whisam hopes to continue his education and become certified in machine welding. He said he heard about the adult education opportunity through his job at Mueller.