Trevor Pulliam used to think school wasn’t for him, and that he’d enter the workforce early. It wasn’t until he transferred to Emerson Academy that he set his sights on completing high school — even doing so ahead of schedule — while also holding a job.
Pulliam, now officially an alum of Emerson, said that after finishing his studies earlier this year, he has worked full-time in several places: laying concrete, landscaping, driving dump trucks, etc.
While a student at Emerson, Pulliam attended night classes after completing his work for the day. He said those teachers worked to ensure he could graduate on time.
“They’re good teachers. They have an interest in what I needed to get done, and so they’re pretty good,” Pulliam said.
Emerson Academy is geared toward providing an alternative learning environment for the students. On Wednesday, 21 students graduated from the school.
At the graduation ceremony, Principal Kevin Thompson said this class has faced adversity and remained resilient through it all.
“Like any other year, these students are very resilient. They really worked this last year to get to the point where they’ve gotten their requirements where they can receive their diplomas,” Thompson said.
This is Thompson’s final year as principal before he begins his new position as Director of Pupil Personnel. As he leaves the school, Thompson said he’s experience the same feeling of departure that the students do as they graduate.
“At the end of the year, the kids really realize how much the staff really cares about them,” he said. “It’s a small family, so going to my new position, it’s very tough to leave this family we have here.”