Choices graduates praise teachers, school

CNJ staff photo: Keely McDowell Miguel Salazar, left, Samantha Garcia, center, and Brittana Boyce are part of the 2008 Choices graduating class.

The 110 seniors who will graduate Monday from Choices school gave credit for their success to the school and the teachers.

Choices is an alternative high school in the Clovis school system for non-traditional students.

Here is what some of the graduates had to say:

On graduating

• Brittana Boyce: The greatest accomplishment that I have made is making it all the way to graduation. I was held back in the first grade and would have graduated in 2009 at 19 years old. Now, I’m on time but also a year early. To me it’s like my fairy-tale ending. My last chapter, but not my last book.

• Miguel Salazar: Lately, I’ve been proving myself. I never thought I would graduate. I was in and out of jail and was kicked out of two schools. The choices I made weren’t right. Ever since I came here I’ve calmed down, like staying out of jail and I think of consequences. I just set my mind on it, because I am the father to a 1-year-old son. I wanted to give him a future and an example as a father.

• Ray “Big Ray” Green: Graduating is a pretty high accomplishment for me. I have struggled throughout the years.

• Samantha Garcia: I’m proud of myself, I came a long way. Like, when I used to be in junior high, I made a lot of bad choices. When I came to Choices I changed a lot. I started to do good in my classes, I have had good grades, and I have been on the A-B honor roll ever since I have been here. I’m really proud that I am graduating. Graduating is a big thing in my life, because I have a baby. I’m proud that I am graduating for him so that I can have a better future for him.

On Choices

• Boyce: The teachers were and always will be a blessing to me. Choices showed me what I can and will do with my life. It has a place in my heart, a school that can never be forgotten.

• Salazar: There is something about the teachers, the way they talk to me, makes me open my eyes. A lot of my friends, too. They don’t just think I’m automatically the bad guy and stuff. The teachers are real nice. They walked me through the work and stuff. I had more help here than any other school. I looked at them more as friends than teachers. The principal, Mr. (Scott) Sparks is friendly, understands me more than other teachers I have met, and he listens to me when I talk.

• Green: With the block schedule, the teachers have more one on one time with the students, which has really helped me. And pretty much all of the teachers I have had have really helped me.

• Garcia: The teachers always had faith in me. Like, when I started thinking I was doing bad again, they would tell me ‘No, you can do it and you can make it in that class and you can get that grade’. It just motivated me to do good.