Reach Academy 2014

Nineteen graduate in December 2014 from the REACH Academy

At the Fourth Annual REACH Academy Commencement Ceremony on December 16, 19 Haywood High School seniors received their diplomas. Administrators participating in the event were HHS Principal Jerry Pyron, Director of Haywood County Schools Teresa Russell, Director of REACH Academy Drayton Hawkins and REACH Graduation Coach Stephen May. Also participating were Autumn Whitman, Valedictorian of the REACH Academy Senior Class of 2015 and Dannon Eubanks, President of HHS Class of 2015.

Members of the graduating class are Marquese Bell, Joel Bond, Tashara Branch, Kayley Burnett, Dylan Cannon, Javonte Jarrett, Damian Johnson, Alexandria Kennamer, Tevin Lewis, Will McRach, Louis Mitchell, McKayla Perez, Hykieem Perry, Ephan Pirtle, Shunquallia Ragland, Houston Rosson, Joshua Sanchez, Keaira Walker and Autumn Whitman. Joshua Sanchez is the REACH Class of 2015 Salutatorian.

Achana Jarrett, Director of the Haywood County Arts Council, presented a musical selection, and the guest speaker was Brian L. Harris, ExpressJet Airlines Captain. He was the first Black Chief Pilot at Atlantic Southeast Airlines, now ExpressJet Airlines, the largest regional airline in the world. In 2013, he became the first Black Base Chief Pilot for the ASA side of ExpressJet Airlines where he was named Base Chief Pilot for the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. In this role, Brian became one of the highest-ranking African Americans in a flight operations department comprised of over 5,000 people. He has the largest base in the company, and is responsible for over 1,500 pilots in Atlanta, Detroit, and Dallas.

The Haywood High School Reach Academy held its December graduation ceremony on December 17 for 19 students who are early graduates of the HHS Class of 2014. Participating in the ceremony that took place at Sunny Hill Innovative Learning Center were Superintendent Teresa Russell, Deputy Superintendent Vincent Harvell, HHS Principal Jerry Pyron, and the Class of 2014 President Justice Brown. Hosts for the event were Director of the REACH Academy Drayton Hawkins and REACH Graduation Coach Stephen May.

Earning Valedictorian honors in the class was Adriana Caletre. Lanqueya Hess was Salutatorian of the Class. The other graduates were Ismael Aguirre, Dalvin Bailey, Shaniece Bufford, Martez Comage, Keundra Gibbs, Darvis Jarmon, Ibrahim Jobeh, Jessica Johnson, Montravious Jones, Jose Lemus, Amente Mans, Whitney Mitchell, Jasmine Perry, Devante Taylor, Ricky Taylor, James Whitelow and Chassidy Worles.

James Whitelow received a $500 scholarship from Vincent Harvell, representing the Leadership Haywood County Class of 2013.

Guest speaker for the ceremony was Dexter G. Moragne. He is a 35-year U. S. Postal Service employee and is Pastor of St. Luke Baptist Church in Covington, Tennessee, where he has served for 24 years. He congratulated the graduates on completing this challenge and gave them a message from the real world, encouraging them to set goals and work hard.

Guests representing the city, county, Board of Education and Haywood County Schools Central Office joined a packed house of family and friends who came to celebrate with the graduates.

The REACH program offers an innovative, rich, rigorous and engaging program designed to address the individual academic and developmental needs of the program’s students. REACH is an acronym for Receiving Educational Academic Credits Hastily. This allows those students who have gotten behind in their course work to catch up and graduate on time. The program also ensures that each of our students has been accepted into a post secondary program before graduation. The REACH program has two main objectives: 1) Increase the graduation rate of the students attending Haywood County Schools. 2) Decrease the dropout rate of students attending Haywood County Schools. In order for a student to graduate from the REACH program, they must have completed all requirements as set forth by the Tennessee State Department of Education.