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First graduates cross the stage, hundreds more to go

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In front of nearly 400 people, student after student crossed the stage June 6 to accept their high school diploma from the Frank Tejeda Academy. It was the largest class, 103 graduates total, and the biggest crowd in years.

Cheers erupted as soon as Pomp & Circumstance started playing over the speaker system and the seniors walked in wearing their caps and gowns, but tears stared falling when fellow graduate Jamie Cerda shared her story of struggle and triumph. The 22-year-old wife and mother of two explained how she dropped out of high school to take care of her sick mother and seven siblings. Then she stared working to earn money, got married, had children and tried to finish high school. It was FTA and the staff there that helped her finally accomplish her goal.

Jamie Cerda’s story hit close to home for many of the graduates as they all have struggled in their own ways to complete their requirements for a diploma. Thursday night, their dreams came true.

Hundreds more seniors from the Harlandale ISD are set to graduate next week. The commencement ceremonies for McCollum and Harlandale high schools are scheduled to take place at the Freeman Coliseum June 13 and 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Because of the Spurs playoff game on June 13, all participants in the MHS Graduation will be directed to enter through the West Gate off Houston Street and park in Lot 8 or 9. Doors open at 5:00 p.m.