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Nathan Dennison, center, reads a poem, 'If,' during the graduation ceremony for the SCOPE/South St. Louis County Management School program.

Fifty-one SCOPE students earn diplomas

It wasn't easy, but it was worth it.

That's the prevailing sentiment expressed by the 51 Mehlville School District students who recently earned their high school diplomas through the South County Opportunity for the Purpose of Education/South St. Louis County Management School program.

Of the 51 district students graduating, 46 earned their high school diploma as part of the relatively new GED option program.

To successfully complete the GED option program, the 46 district students were required to attend school for at least 15 hours each week and maintain an outside job working at least 25 hours per week.

They now also are invited to participate in the commencement exercises at Mehlville and Oakville senior high schools.

Proudly decked out in caps and gowns, the GED option students in the graduating class of 2004 represent a large increase over the number of GED option students last year, according to a Mehlville School District news release.

A total of 14 Mehlville School District students completed the GED option program during 2003, the first year it was offered at SCOPE/SSLCMS.

The alternative school ceremony honors students earning promotion from eighth grade as well as those completing high school.

The SCOPE/SSLCMS graduation ceremony featured student participation. Jennifer Breeding gave the welcoming speech, while Nathan Dennison, Anthony Tumminia, Amanda Gerber, Greg Anselmo and Sarah Wolken read poems.

George Hinkle, a retired National Football League star, gave the keynote address.

Pollie Richardson has served as director of SCOPE/SSLCMS for eight years.

Retired Mehlville School District administrator Allan Schindler serves as the executive director of SCOPE/SSLCMS.

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