Graduation ceremonies are underway for the Cobb County School District, which expects to hand out diplomas to more than 8,000 high school seniors.
The Cobb County School District’s class of 2019 is made up of 94 percent of students who are graduating on time. Seventy-five percent of those students will continue their education at a university or technical college while the rest will enter the workforce. These graduates will receive about $118 million in scholarships to help fund their education.
Superintendent Dr. Chris Ragsdale said seeing the look on these graduating seniors’ faces is “how I know we’re successful.”
“Preparing each of our students to be ready for the world of college and career is why we exist, (and) I couldn’t be proud of the class of 2019,” he said. “They are equipped with the skills and knowledge they need as they enter college, technical school, the military, or go straight into the workforce.
Cobb’s class of 2019 also includes 19 Georgia Scholars, a Presidential Scholar and several National Merit Scholars and Finalists. About 200 of these graduates are planning to join the U.S. military, the system said.
Other Cobb graduates will use skills they gained in on-the-job training while enrolled in high school. Ten Kennesaw Mountain High School students have signed with career tech employers to begin applying what they’ve learned over the years.
One student who is in the final days of his senior year is Terrence Chisley Jr. Chisley, 18, will graduate Saturday from Kennesaw Mountain High School and will begin studies at Georgia State University in the fall.
“I am beyond excite to graduate and walk across the stage, knowing all my hard work paid off and prayers were answered,” he said.
Chisley played football throughout his high school career, and will continue that activity with the Panthers. According to the Cobb school district, Chisley has considerable hearing loss and comes from an “economically challenged area.” He used interpreters and a hearing aid to help with completing his school work.
However, Chisley didn’t let any of those obstacles get in the way of his goal of getting “out of poverty,” the school district said. Chisley did the research and calculations necessary to determine where he would embark on his collegiate career.
“I think what impresses me most about Terrence is his drive to succeed regardless of his situation,” said Abby Jackson’s Chisley’s interpreter. “Yet he’s always had his eye on the prize, with the prize being a college degree and great career.”
Chisley told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he plans to use the summer to enjoy his time off and to get ready for college. He will major in criminal justice, and would like to work for the FBI or Central Intelligence Agency.
Chisley also shared some advice for younger students who will be graduating in the next few years.
“Enjoy your senior year, (but) don't wait until the last minute to start sending applications for college,” he said. “Respect your teachers and the people that's trying to help you start your life and get to your destination.”
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