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    Interagency Graduates 2018
    Posted on 06/22/2018
    Principal Kaaren Andrews with 2018 Graduate

    Building up Students Through Positive Learning Environments and Positive Adult Beliefs: Interagency Academy Graduates 188 Students

    As Jessia Sua sang, “I’ll rise up, I’ll rise like the day, I’ll rise up, I’ll rise unafraid. I’ll rise up, and I’ll do it a thousand times again,” her peers and teachers joined her. On June 21, Jessica and her classmates walked across the Memorial Stadium stage to receive their diplomas at the Interagency Academy graduation.

    A student and parent hug at the commencement cermonyInteragency Academy is a network of small, alternative high schools within Seattle Public Schools. The staff and faculty focus on building positive relationships to support student resiliency, identity safety and belonging. Through these relationships, staff and faculty foster student academic success.

    During the program, some students shared their poems at the podium. “Like the rose that grew from the concrete, it was impossible to believe that I would stand here today,” recited one student. “My friends, teachers, family – but especially my mom – nurtured and believed in me. Slowly, slowly, I grew stronger realizing that I would break through the concrete of impossibility and achieve my dream.” After each student recited their poems, loud applause from families, teachers and community partners filled the air.

    As the program progressed, Principal Kaaren Andrews asked two teachers to come up to the stage to recognize graduates in incarceration by saying their first names. “They are thought of as inmates and felons. However, these young people are still working to make themselves better. They demonstrate resilience through attending school in worst conditions possible. They continue to develop themselves and create opportunities to grow,” said Andrews. “We remember you. We see the good in you.”

    A student cheers as she walk on the commencement stageInteragency Academy exemplifies how Seattle Public Schools is committed to creating positive learning environments that are inclusive and support belonging and identity safety. By recognizing each individual students’ story, strength and need and holding positive beliefs and high expectations for each student, school leaders demonstrate positive adult beliefs and a deep commitment to the success of every student.