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WINGS dropout recovery program holds graduation

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DESOTO - The DeSoto ISD WINGS (Where I Now Gain Success) dropout recovery program held its first ever graduation ceremony for five students who have completed their high school coursework and earned their high school diploma!

Parents, family and friends joined the students, their teachers and district administrators during the WINGS Graduation Ceremony Thursday, Jan. 13, at 7 p.m. in the DeSoto ISD Belt Line Conference Center, located at the back of the instructional support center at 200 E. Belt Line Rd.

Congratulations to the Inaugural WINGS Class of 2011: Kendal Harris, Terrance Hudson, D’Leisha Lawrence, Aaron Morales and Darrin Sims.

Most of the five students had just one or two courses to complete this past fall to earn their diploma. Unlike a dropout who obtains their GED through a program, WINGS students are picking up high school where they left off and completing the coursework through certified teachers and self-paced computer programs.

The WINGS Commencement Exercises included music by the DeSoto High School Choir directed by Pamela Dawson, a commencement address by Pastor Oscar Epps of the Community Missionary Baptist Church and the presentation and acceptance of graduates by Dr. Cheyrl Ensley, principal of DeSoto High School, and Superintendent Lloyd Treadwell.

The WINGS program, targeting dropouts age 16-25, is developed as flexible, self-paced courses at a school located at 200 Hampton Road. Courses are taught 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and as well as some Saturday morning courses. Course offerings are based on participants’ credit recovery needs. The WINGS program offers mentoring and counseling as well as child care for students during their classes.

The $100,000 TEA grant-funded program can accommodate up to 50 students who have dropped out of a Texas public secondary school. While the program is directly targeted at former DeSoto ISD students, all interested individuals will be considered regardless of district residency. The transformation is currently taking place for 41 area dropouts recovering credit and earning their high school diploma or GED.

Do you know someone who may be interested in more information about the WINGS Program? Contact Grant Coordinator Lee Merryman at 972-274-8212 ext. 492 for more information and enrollment details.

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