Taylion Virtual Academy Holds First Graduation
Isabella Medina and Madeline Walker are Taylion Virtual Academy’s first graduates. The school opened in September 2010.
“This graduation ceremony is the culmination of the exciting first year we’ve had at Taylion,” said Taylion Virtual Academy Principal Anthony Davis. “It has been the most exciting and rewarding year I have had in my teaching career.”
“I have learned to be persistent yet flexible,” Davis said. “I have counseled, argued, debated and smiled. And that was all with one student.”
With the guidance, support and encouragement of Davis, independent study teacher Tom Cass and the entire Taylion Virtual Academy staff, Isabella and Madeline overcame challenges to complete their graduation requirements. Earlier, both young women acknowledged graduation would have been unlikely, had it not been for the caring attitudes, flexibility and patience demonstrated to them by Taylion’s staff.
High school is just a step in the journey for each of them. Isabella plans to attend Crafton Hills College next, and Madeline plans to attend San Bernardino Valley College.
Isabella, 18, and Madeline, 19, both had to work hard to finish high school. Nevertheless, finishing high school as teen-agers will probably make their young adult life easier than it was for graduation guest speaker Kim Carter, founder and president of the Time for Change Foundation.
“I was not my past,” Carter said. “I have a future. Today I have my ‘PhDO!’ I believe everyone has the power to DO one thing to help make the world a better place. If you don’t believe that, you speak with the ‘I can’t and never can’ vocabulary. Today, we are here to talk about our I CAN vocabulary.”
Carter acknowledged a similar “Can Do” attitude in the two young women who are the first graduates of Taylion Virtual Academy.
“By saying ‘Yes, I can!’ you have created an opportunity for someone else who doesn’t think she has one,” Carter said. “You have shown others that they can too.”
Although they could not attend the graduation ceremony, several of the San Bernardino area’s elected representatives encouraged the young women with personal notes and certificates of recognition. These included Congressman Joe Baca, State Senator Gloria Negrete McLeod, State Assembly Member Wilmer Amina Carter, San Bernardino County supervisors Josie Gonzales and Janice Rutherford and San Bernardino Mayor Patrick Morris.
Supervisor Gonzales also sent certificates of recognition for 10 undergraduate students recognized during the ceremony for exceptional scores on the California High School Exit Exam. Taylion Virtual Academy recognized Darian Davis for a perfect score of 450 on the English portion of the exam and better than 410 on the math portion.
Taylion Virtual Academy also recognized Angelina Baldenegro, Gricelda Moreno and Harmony Bliss for scoring better than 410 on one portion of the exam and at least 380 on both portions of the exam. Also recognized for scores of at least 380 on one or both portions of the exam were Railynn Hicks, Lauren Valdez, David Diaz, Kaitlynne Adams and Carlos Cervantez.
Taylion Virtual Academy offers independent study, home schooling and online education, with all students working at their own pace. For many students, the free public charter school is an opportunity to either catch up and graduate with classmates at a traditional high school, or to graduate early from Taylion and move onto college or full-time employment before others their age.
For more information, or a free campus tour, call Taylion Virtual Academy at (909) 889-5152 or go to www.taylion.com.