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Moving Forward: Barton County Academy holds commencement
Graduates wearing red or black caps and gowns listen to a commencement speech, Wednesday at the Barton County Academy. The ceremony recognized 12 who have earned Great Bend High School diplomas through the Academy over the past year. - photo by photos by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Twelve more high school graduates had the opportunity to turn their tassels Wednesday evening, when the Barton County Academy held its 2015 graduation ceremony.
The self-paced high school is available for students throughout Barton County. They receive a diploma from their host high school, and this year all of the students received Great Bend High School diplomas.
Graduates are: Edgar O. Acosta, Dillan R. Adams, Laura A. Black, Omar Delgado-Estrada, Brett L. Fisher, Kyleene A. Folkerts, Flor Gonzales-Duran, Sheila R. Howe, Manuela D. Martinez-Lopez, Maria Montes, Petra Quintana and Brittany A. Tarkowski.
Site Director Justin Schwartz welcomes a crowd of friends and family.
“Thank you for supporting our graduates,” Schwartz said. “They’ve worked really hard.”
Three of the graduates, Gonzales-Duran, Montes and Quintana, received honor society awards based on attendance, attitude and effort.
“After you receive your diploma you will go forth,” Schwartz told the graduates. Three things to remember as they more forward: Effort, attitude and knowledge. “I can’t stress enough how important (effort) is,” he said. “Do more than what is expected.” He also encouraged them to keep a positive attitude and continue their journey as lifetime learners.
Students did their course work at the Barton County Academy, located in the ESSDACK Learning Center at 5220 West 10th St. in Great Bend. Each met the graduation requirements of the host school.