Grad Track Senior Spotlight: Jose Rodriguez-Garcia

WBHS Senior Jose Rodriguez-Garcia

Winder Barrow High School senior, Jose Rodriguez-Garcia has a reinvigorated desire to walk across the 50-yard line and graduate in May. The onset of his high school career was smooth sailing even entering high school with one credit, but it took an unexpected turn when he chose to pursue online learning. Motivated to work full-time while continuing his education, he felt that Foothills would be a perfect way to strike a balance between his personal goals and professional dreams.

Initially, Jose was successful and thriving in this new learning environment, completing two courses. The flexibility of online learning allowed him to accommodate his learning and work schedules. However, as time went on, he struggled with the lack of accountability and structure eventually resulting in him “dropping out” of high school for thirteen months. Knowing the value and importance of graduating high school and how close he had once been to achieving this goal, Jose began to question if he still had the ability to come back to school and graduate on time. Seeking guidance and options, he contacted Mrs. Cramer, graduation specialist for Winder-Barrow, a resource he discovered through recommendations from friends and family who had previously worked with her, to see if graduating was still in fact possible. Through communication, planning, support, and guidance a plan was developed, and Jose was ready to navigate the challenges he would face in making this goal a reality.;

Since January, the plan has had to pivot and change multiple times. Each new approach presented its own set of obstacles and Jose’s resolve wavered, causing conversations about dropping out again to occur with family and Mrs. Cramer. But with a firm plan finally established, regular check-ins, and support from all stakeholders Jose’s positive attitude and resilience have resurfaced, and huge strides and progress have occurred.

With graduation day quickly approaching, Jose is weeks away from walking across the stage and getting his diploma. From the allure of online learning to the harsh realities of potential pitfalls, Jose’s journey speaks to how you can always turn things around. One choice, dropping out, was not the end of his educational story. Setting a goal, asking for help, hard work, and determination are the characteristics that define Jose and allow him to reach his goal of graduating. We are incredibly proud of Jose!


We are proud of our students who are on the “Grad Track.” A Grad Track student has either failed one or more academic classes and/or is behind in credits needed for graduation with their cohort class. Graduation Specialists at all three Barrow County School System (BCSS) high schools support students who meet these qualifications.

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