Five eager faces stared back at the gym full of peers, family members and school staff. This was a day that many thought wouldn’t happen - but it did on Dec. 19.
Yankee Hill mid-term graduate Kali Mills stood up and addressed the crowd. “I’m here today to tell a story, and my story is probably one that sums up most of the students that are here in this gym. This story is about getting knocked down and getting back up. It’s a story about resilience.”
Seniors Carter Bailey, Chance Johnson, TJ Johnson, Kali Mills and Dakota Restuccio made it. Their journeys each different, yet the same, with a destination that will mean a fresh start.
Mills continued explaining that by eighth grade she was pretty sure she wouldn’t graduate - school was not a priority in her life.
“Yankee Hill played a big part in the success of all our days. Without them, most of us would have lost hope by now. Yankee Hill is not a regular school, but let’s face it, we are not regular students.”
Thanking teachers and staff at school, Mills said she and her classmates could count on them to show up each and every day - standing by them and pushing them to go further.
“This is what I love about Yankee Hill. Kali Mills was here last December and she never saw herself standing here in front of you giving this speech,” said Principal Erik Witt. “We always talk about it’s not where you began, it’s how you finish.”
Yankee Hill is a smaller school designed for students ninth grade through 12th grade. Staff are trained in a behavior program model to create a structured, safe and predictable school environment for students. The program addresses the individual needs of each student while providing a strong emphasis on academic excellence, allowing each student to focus on their strengths and learn pro-social skills.
Published: January 3, 2018, Updated: January 3, 2018