Yankee Hill grads: ‘It’s not how you started, it’s how you finished’

The theme at Yankee Hill Education Center this school year has been “Decide, commit, succeed.”

“I couldn’t think of a better example of that than these 11 graduates here today,” said Erik Witt, Yankee Hill principal, as he addressed the 2019 graduating class on Friday.

He was speaking in the Yankee Hill gymnasium that was standing-room only, filled with friends, family and educators brimming with pride.

“It’s not how you started, it’s how you finished,” he went on to say. “Dream big, continue to make decisions with a purpose, continue to commit to your core beliefs and success will surely follow.”

There was no better example of that than Friday’s student speaker, Imaniji Robinson. She admitted to making a series of bad decisions during high school.

“My story has quite a few twists and turns. There have been moments when I thought I reached the end of my happiness,” she said. “But I’ve grown so much from ninth grade until now. I want people to know I made it through with a smile on my face and they can, too.”

The 2019 Yankee Hill graduating class:

  • Karrar Al-Mansuri
  • Quiana Brown
  • Aye-Zayah Buckhalter
  • Stacy Hamilton
  • Emma Matthies
  • Peyton Mullenax
  • Ashtin Olson
  • Imaniji Robinson
  • Matthew Stokes
  • John Thompson
  • Nicole Wilson

More about Yankee Hill: The program at Yankee Hill Education Center is designed for high school students who require more structure and support systems to succeed. The same program is used at the Don Sherrill Education Center for elementary students and at the Nuernberger Education Center for those in middle school. Each education center’s ultimate goal is for students to return to their home schools.


Published: May 21, 2019, Updated: May 22, 2019

“My story has quite a few twists and turns. There have been moments when I thought I reached the end of my happiness. But I’ve grown so much from ninth grade until now. I want people to know I made it through with a smile on my face and they can, too."

Imaniji Robinson, LPS graduate