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ALC graduates earn their diplomas

Laura Lindsay was happy and relieved to earn her high school diploma.

"It seemed to go by really slow, but I'm finally here," Lindsay, 19, said after receiving her diploma Dec. 2.

Lindsay was one of five recent graduates from District 833's Alternative Learning Center. She and fellow graduates Aaron Langstrom, Neil Weber and Phong "Jordan" Danh were recognized at a graduation ceremony at the school. Courtland Smith also earned a diploma.

The students selected an ALC teacher or staff member to speak about their accomplishment.

It was a journey for Lindsay, said science teacher Linnea Kolesar. Lindsay was at the ALC on and off for four years, leaving sometimes because of "life crises," Kolesar said. But she returned and finished.

"She has worked very hard," Kolesar said.

Lindsay said she probably will go to school to be a dental hygienist.

Weber started at the ALC last year and showed that he was open to new ideas, said math teacher Charlie Cauthorn.

"He's intelligent, he's confident," Cauthorn said of Weber.

Weber has worked at Wendy's for four years and plans to become a supervisor at the restaurant. Also, he may pursue a career at Flint Hills Resources' Rosemount refinery.

Danh spent four years at the ALC. He might join the U.S. Army or go to engineering school.

"It feels great - a relief," he said after receiving his diploma.

English teacher Katie Harmeyer said she met Langstrom when he first started at the center in 2009. She also served as his adviser. Langstrom is considering a career in law enforcement and hopes to enroll in a community college.

The ALC typically graduates a small class of students in December, while spring graduations have larger classes, Principal Michael Mahaffey said. Many of the graduates return later to visit with teachers and staff.

"They're proud of what they accomplish," he said.

Mahaffey said it was a journey for each graduate and they were a pleasure to have as students. "All I have to say is, class dismissed," he told them

Scott Wente

Scott Wente has been editor at the South Washington County Bulletin since 2011. He worked as a reporter at other Forum Communications newspapers from 2003 to 2011.

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