Winter graduation held in Henry

By Monroe Roark
Times Correspondent

Last Wednesday was graduation day for 31 seniors in the Henry County School System.

For the first time ever, the district hosted a winter graduation event at the Performing Arts Center for those students who finished their studies mid-year, another step in the system’s efforts to improve personalized learning.

The Board of Education revised its policy concerning graduation exercises last year to pave the way for the winter event, according to Tony Pickett, strategic planning assistant to the superintendent. “Now we can have it at other times of the year,” he said.

In addition to the regular May graduation exercises at the county’s various schools, the district has conducted summer graduation for several years for the benefit of those students who finish up their studies in summer school.

“We want to provide more of these kinds of opportunities,” said Pickett. “Increasingly, as we try to better personalize the learning environment for students, some of them move more quickly. This way they can graduate early and get on with whatever the next step is for them.”

The students at last week’s event each wore caps and gowns with colors signifying their respective schools - the same way it is done during summer graduation.

Pickett said there was a good-sized crowd on hand to witness the students receiving their diplomas.

“The families of these students are just as excited as they would have been in May,” he said. “It’s a great achievement regardless of the time of year.”