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Kindergarten graduation at Burton Glen Charter Academy sets path to future

From MLIVE

6/19/2014

BURTON, MI -- Much like their older cohorts this spring, graduates Thursday, June 19, at Burton Glen Charter
Academy were clad in caps and gowns, but their eyes stood barely level with the elevated stage they were about to
cross.

More than 70 kindergartners received their certificates of completion to the cheers of parents and staff members at
the school tucked off Atherton Road, with a table of cookies and cake awaiting following the ceremony.

"This is good for the kindergartners," said Ieisha Vann, enjoying some treats with her 6-year-old son Ray Randle
after the ceremony, which including the children singing songs and dancing along with parents to the song "Tooty
Ta." "It's going to push them through to 12th grade."

Kristine Chappell, dean of kindergarten through second grade at the school, briefly addressed the boisterous
graduating class with some advice.

"Students, be loving, love learning, be part of the community and be all that you can be," she said. Principal
DeNesha Rawls-Smith told the crowd she expected the graduation to be "the first of many graduations for them."

"I expect them to come back and say I have my high school diploma, bachelor's degree, master's degree, even
doctorate," she said, which drew loud applause and shouts from those in attendance.

Picking up a sand pail with awards inside for achievements such as reading, math, attendance and citizenship were
parents Crystal and Steve Huber with their 5-year-old son Colin Huber.

They were happy to have a ceremony for their son, who Crystal said is autistic and enjoys the praise. Steve Huber
said some people don't get to experience an event like this. His brother, for example, homeschools his kids, Huber
said.

"It's nice," he said.

School board President Constance Roberts added she was proud of the students and their accomplishments, but she
would always look at them as if they were this age forever.

"Each and every one of you, even when you're in eighth grade, I'm still going to call you my munchkins," she said.

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