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Principal's Message to Central Grads: 'Wow'

Farmington's alternative high school graduates a class of 49 students.

On Thursday night, 49 Farmington Central students completed their high school education in a graduation ceremony held at Farmington High.

Central, an alternative school which serves students ages 16-19, is housed in the Farmington Community School building on Shiawassee in Farmington.

The seniors came from all three Farmington public high schools – , and . "But tonight, they're all Central High graduates," Principal/Director Pat Karas said.

Karas urged students to make their mark and told them she admired their endurance in facing challenges throughout the year. "Wow is my word to the Class of 2011," she said.

For Davonte Portis, Farmington Central represents a chance he thought he'd never have -- to complete his education. A speaker during the ceremony, he said he had been to a number of schools before finding success at Central. Portis will continue his education at Grand Rapids Community College, and eventually hopes to become a computer engineer.

"This moment is special to me," he said, "because I get to see a smile on my mother's face."

Yvonne Koenig said she was close to dropping out of her previous school when a friend told her about an alternative.

"To me, Farmington Central is a family," she said.

The Class of 2011 included two scholarship winners: Koenig and Gage William Flourre. Honor roll students were Blake S. King, Danielle Owen, Kaila Shea Phillips, Marriah Simmons, Steve Stanaj and Danielle Janae' Walker.

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