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Halstead, KS 67056

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Class Of 2020 Commits To Graduate

Posted 3/2/2017

By Jared Janzen

HALSTEAD—Keeping with an annual tradition at Halstead High School, members of the freshmen Class of 2020 took part in a Commitment to Graduate assembly last Wednesday afternoon. Lining the stage of the high school auditorium, students took pen in hand, and signed their names to a large banner that will be hung up at the school.

“For some of you, you’ve already decided you are going to graduate from high school; you’ve already made that decision,” Principal Joe GerbFRESHMEN at Halstead signed a banner last Wednesday committing to graduate from high school.FRESHMEN at Halstead signed a banner last Wednesday committing to graduate from high told the students as they prepared to sign their commitment. “(But) there are some of you sitting there that haven’t made that decision.” He added that for those who weren’t convinced yet, hopefully by the end of the assembly they would be.

To demonstrate the difference that a high school diploma can make in life, high school teachers lined up on stage with posters representing a person’s life timeline. The decision to graduate from high school represented a fork in the road with one path leading to limited options and greater chances of unemployment, poor health and poverty, and the other leading to opportunities for further education and higher salaries.

“Not all decisions you make in your life are equal,” Gerber said. “There are some that are a lot more important than others….This is a big one. This is one you have to get right.”

Students learned that the average annual salary for people with a high school diploma is $30,048, and this only goes up depending on additional certifications or post-secondary degrees.

In recent years, Halstead’s graduation rate percentage-wise has been in the high 80s to low 90s, according to Gerber. Given Halstead’s small class sizes, this represents about two or three students who don’t graduate each year.

Gerber said his goal is to see every student graduate, which has never been done during his six years as principal.

“One (dropout) is too many,” Gerber said. “We’re not happy unless there’s a 100 percent graduation rate,” but he added that this must be achieved without lowering Halstead’s standards.

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