The Upson-Lee Learning Academy held their graduation ceremony on June 3, 2014 at the Upson-Lee Learning Academy. The 2014 graduates were: Shamiqua Briana Caldwell, Corrissa Deiondra Daniel, Christina Fultz, Ja’Shara Chantal Hubbard, Lebrelious McGee, Marcquitta Rashard Reid, Arlene Scott, Kelsey Nicole Stephenson, and Skyler Kayelin Webb.
After the director of the Learning Academy, Faye Williams, welcomed everyone, she thanked the parents and family members for their support. She expressed how proud she was of each graduate. Williams thanked the Board of Education and school officials for their approval and the implementation of the Learning Academy; as a result, these graduates, who had previously dropped out of school for a variety of reasons, received a second chance.
The address was delivered by Christina Fultz, one of the graduates. In her speech, she gave a personal testimony of her struggle. She then posed a question to the audience, “Where would Christina Fultz be if it wasn’t for the Learning Academy.”
The graduation ceremony was followed by a reception in the commons area, sponsored by Joyce Kendall and the Partners in Education.
The Learning Academy is part of a federally funded grant program called Gateway to Educational Achievement and Reengagement (GEAR), designed to increase graduation rates in Upson, Jones and Green counties, by assisting students entering the ninth grade with their core studies, and also by encouraging students who have dropped out of school to come back and earn their diploma in the Learning Academy.