Seniors from North Nicholas High receive their diplomas
Cape Coral’s newest charter school, North Nicholas High, had its class of 2009 graduation commencement Friday night, along with students from Coronado High School in Fort Myers.
Both schools are operated by the same charter school company that has campuses in Florida, Texas and Pennsylvania. The two schools in Lee County graduated 35 students Friday inside the auditorium at Island Coast High School.
North Nicholas High, located on Pine Island Road, offers at-risk high school students the chance to earn their diplomas at their own pace through a series of computer-based classes that stress mastery in a subject area.
According to Principal Mike D’Angelo, the school opened last fall with 200 students enrolled. On June 11 the school closed enrollment and counted 625 registered students.
D’Angelo, himself a three-time high school drop-out, commended the students in achieving their goal. The students, many of whom no one thought would make it, have faced a lot of challenges, he said.
“Our class today has already faced adversity and seen some of the problems you really shouldn’t have to see,” said D’Angelo.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers standout Earnest Graham served as keynote speaker at the commencement. He stressed the importance of setting and achieving goals, and told the graduates about his experience making it into the NFL.
“All those times you won’t know how it’ll work out, but the first thing is just showing up,” said Graham. “You are going to be tested over and over again, and how you get through those things will lead you through life.”
Graham grew up in Lee County, graduating from Mariner High School, and said he experienced many of the same obstacles that other high school graduates have gone through. He told the graduates to stay loyal to their dreams and in the end they will be rewarded.
“Everything I had to get I had to earn,” he said.
North Nicholas High graduate Kayla Boyd also delivered a speech to her fellow classmates congratulating them on their achievement.
“Thirteen-plus years of homework, studying and tests and we finally made it,” said Boyd. “Let this be a constant reminder of our capabilities, we always had it in us.”
Graduates from North Nicholas High are Adrian Bofill, Whitney Bosselait, Kayla Boyd, Jeffrey Callahan, Jeffrey Cano, Lance Fay, Stephanie Gaud, Christopher Jones, Peter LeFontaine, Tayler LaScola, Chelsey Lawson, Brock Lessard, Kayla Martel, Kristen O’Donnell, Sushanna Perley, Omar Ramos, Brian Nunez, Alexandria Scoffil and Maria Valencia.
The graduates from Coronado High are Julie Austin, Javian Battle, Brandon Coover, Timothy Dury, Alex Hendryx, Chelsea Hose, Jamal Mickens, Andrew Nelson, Jamie Patterson, Jordan Perry, Brenda Stewart, Madalyn Schuman, Megan Six, Karen Wilson and Casey Wrobel.