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Nearly 50 graduates walk the stage in WISD Summer Graduation

WACO, TX (September 12, 2023)--“To signify that you have participated in the commencement exercises of the Waco ISD 2023 graduating class, please move your tassel from right to left,” WISD Director of Secondary Education David Hamilton instructed graduates at the district’s end-of-summer graduation.


The crowd broke into applause and smiles spread across the faces of nearly 50 summer graduates earning their high school diplomas just as the 2023-2024 school year gets underway. 


Waco ISD offers a myriad of options to ensure students graduate, whether they are graduating early or working to recover credits. In addition to its two traditional high schools, Brazos High School Credit Recovery Center and WISD’s night school program work with students who need
non-traditional high school schedules to earn their final credits. 


Waco ISD Superintendent Susan Kincannon acknowledged some of the challenges including homelessness, working full-time, and raising children, through which 49 students persevered to qualify for summer graduation.


“Each of you have certainly overcome obstacles to get to this point, yet you still managed to earn your credits and reach this major milestone in life. Please know how incredibly inspired we
are by you for sticking with it,” Kincannon said. “As you prepare to walk across this stage, I want you to know how proud I am of you. I am proud of both what you have already accomplished
and the difference you are going to continue to make after you leave here.”


Brazos High graduate Tynese Burren pushed herself and completed her final credits the day before graduation. She expressed appreciation to the school’s two administrators, Daphne Latchison and Jessica Weeks. 


“I also want to give a shout out to our counselor, Ms. (Courtney) Copas, and my math teacher, Mr. (Brian) Bays for helping me finish strong,” Burren said. “I plan to attend Navarro College and
apply for the LVN Nursing Program.”


According to lagging data from the Texas Education Agency, Waco ISD’s graduation rate climbed to 85 percent in 2022, equivalent to the national average, and a seven percent gain in
the number of graduates as compared to four years ago with a graduation rate of 77 percent. The 2023 graduation rates have not yet been released by the TEA, but WISD expects its
The number of graduates will continue to increase. 


Waco ISD Director of Accountability Systems and Data Analysis Denise Bell also credits the continual increase in the number of graduates to a reduction in dropout rates thanks to persistent follow-up by school personnel to students and parents.


“Waco ISD had 100 fewer students drop out of school last year than the year before. We are not just getting them in school,” Bell said.  “They are staying in school and graduating.”