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Ezequiel Franco was the third out of 24 students to graduate from New Horizons High School this year.

Last Wednesday, the graduation bell at New Horizons High School rang five times as the school celebrated its most recent graduates out of 24 so far this year.

As a non-traditional, self-paced high school, ringing its large antique bell as the newly graduated students proudly walk through the hallway dressed in their caps and gowns, has become a major element of the campus’ culture.

“These students were successful on their end of course tests in December,” GISD Supt. Sharon Boothe said of the New Horizons students who graduated so far this semester. “We are really proud of them because it was the last piece in their graduation journey.”

One of the reasons why the staff at New Horizons tries to nurture this campus culture of community spirit and cooperation is because students and families who choose the school come from a variety of backgrounds.

For example, New Horizons’ smaller class sizes can be beneficial for high school-aged students who are new to Greenville ISD but who are just beginning to learn English. Similarly, the smaller student-to-teacher ratio can work well for students in need of credit recovery, who have – for whatever reason – fallen behind in satisfying their graduation requirements and need to catch up. The more self-paced aspect of New Horizons has also attracted a few students who simply wish to graduate early.

Regardless of the reasons why each of this year’s graduates chose New Horizons, they will also cross the stage at Greenville High School’s graduation on May 26.

So far this year, New Horizons High School has celebrated the following graduations:

• Julius Bone on Sept. 30

• Alexis Gomez on Oct. 20

• Ezequiel Franco on Nov. 2

• Gaetano Gonzales on Dec. 12

• Hailey Gavin, Julisa Resendiz and Leslie Guzman on Dec. 14

• Jesse James, Josue Castillo, Mallory Trent-Burt, Yazmin Sesmas, Trey Brown, Jasmin Ordonez, Adan Rosales, Madalyn Hope Clinton, Santiago Garcia, Linse Koenig and Heidi Velasquez on Jan. 13

• Alexis Garcia on Jan. 17

• Marcela Eguia Ramirez, Delia Alvarado, Gabrielle Loya, Aliyah Keahey and Princess Tiscareno on Jan. 18

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Travis Hairgrove is a news reporter and features writer at the Herald-Banner and covers city government for many municipalities in Hunt County. To reach him outside of business hours, email THairgroveReporter@gmail.com.

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