Our Graduation Specialists are making a difference in the lives of students! Funded by the Federal CARES Act III Grant, the roles were added to our team during the 2021-2022 school year with the goal to improve graduation rates within each high school.
To achieve that goal, the Graduation Specialists identify students who are at risk of not graduating high school and/or who are not on track for an on-time graduation. From there, they develop support and interventions for those students. They work with students on individual graduation and achievement plans and connect them with mentors and community organizations to help. Students get education and career plans to guide them to meet academic and graduation goals.
During their first year, our Graduation Specialists -- Alyson Cramer, Andy Dean and Amber Hagy -- worked with more than 300 students and helped guide them to graduation.
"I have learned that although one person truly can make an amazing impact in a person's life, it ultimately takes a village to help every student have a chance at success."
Andrew shares what that their guidance includes: "The majority of my work was being a voice of encouragement to the students. A lot of the students I work with do not really see the academic capabilities they actually possess. My main focus was to show them that they could achieve success at school with the right approach. Every week, I would check in with students on my caseload to see how they were doing, make sure they were staying focused on their goals, and encourage them to persevere."
Amber says, “These students are not only struggling to overcome previously failed classes, but they are also often continuing to struggle in school along with attempting to cope with a variety of issues in their personal lives. It is rewarding to be able to support administration, teachers, students, and families in a role that allows me to enhance communication among all parties and advocate for students when needed. I have learned that although one person truly can make an amazing impact in a person's life, it ultimately takes a village to help every student have a chance at success. I am proud to be part of the Barrow BOLD team and am thankful for every person who supports me in my role so I can impact the lives of our students daily.”
Andy Dean has language arts and literacy instructional experience in Madison, Gwinnett, Clarke, and Barrow County counties. Andy has provided student support for tutoring, mentoring, advisement, PBIS planning and programming, and social emotional learning teams.
BASA, BCAEP, CFIT, SIMS
Amber Hagy has expertise in elementary education in public and private school settings. Ms. Hagy has designed, planned, and implemented STEM lessons on the Project Lead the Way curriculum for PreK-5th grade students and has also served as an instructor in the GED program.
Alyson says, “Working with my kids is an absolute joy. It is incredibly rewarding to build relationships with my students, and then to have the opportunity to become their biggest advocate. Barrow County offers amazing resources, opportunities, and support... all of which enabled me to help students and their families formulate goals, envision a career, and achieve the goal of graduating high school and walking across the 50-yard line! The most fulfilling aspect of my job, however, is experiencing the excitement and dedication my kids expressed once they had a plan and could see a clear path to a more productive school experience.”
Graduation Specialist Program News
Apalachee High School students and staff were happy to welcome Haymon-Morris and Westsi...
The transition from middle school to high school can be daunting. Increased expectation...
Barrow Arts and Sciences Academy (BASA) senior Josh Aten is a true example of a “...
Jeremiah Frady is a student who is a great example of what happens when someone makes t...
At Winder Barrow High School, students know Robert Brutz is a teacher who is understanding, supportive, and helpful no matter what their situation.
BASA English Language Arts (ELA) teacher, Casey Nissenbaum, exemplifies the role of a champion in the lives of all her students.
Ashley Herrington is a true asset to Apalachee High School students and goes above and beyond to help them find success.
First generation high school graduate Jimmy Martinez has had some ups and downs through...
"There were so many times I wanted to give up, but they kept pushing me and I'm so glad they did. Without them, I would not have passed my classes.”
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