Special Ceremony held for
Non-Traditional Graduates
Roosevelt Jackson, 98, awarded Honorary Diploma
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From the Sept. 7, 2016 issue of The Journal
By Richard Harris
   In a perfect world every student would graduate from high school on schedule. However, in the real world sometimes things happen and students don't earn their diplomas or get to enjoy that very special moment of the Commencement Exercise.
   However, the determined ones realize that they should, in the words of American author F. Scott Fitzgerald, "Never confuse a single defeat with a final defeat."
   In that spirit, the Marion County School System recently hosted a special Summer/Non-Traditional Graduation Ceremony for 18 students who chose to not give up and earn their diplomas.
   The graduates were Wilcaly Allende, Cassandra Bell, Jasmine Bowens, Charles Robert Dozier, Jr., John David Dozier, Kasey Faulkner, Step'Von Fudge, Alice Hartage, Clarissa Hemingway, Brittany Hord, Anthony Lockhart, Alyssa Maxwell, Chelsea McKenzie, JoAnn Miller, Christopher Moses, Jennifer Taylor, Dayja Walton, and Keidrick Wilson.
   Superintendent Richard McCorkle gave an inspirational speech in which he spoke of turning bad into good. Marion County Middle/High School Principal Jamie Penoncello noted that most of the individuals participating in the ceremony had already received their official diplomas and put them to use. He congratulated them all and certified that each person had met the requirements to receive a diploma.
   In addition to those 18 graduates, a very special honorary high school diploma was presented to 98-year-old Buena Vista resident Roosevelt Jackson, a local legend who has also gained notoriety across the nation as ... The rest of the story.