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A second chance at Monterey

Molly Shore

Nearly three dozen Monterey High School graduates received their

diplomas Wednesday on the grounds of The Walt Disney Co. studios.

It’s a short walk from the studio parking lot to The Disney

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Legends Plaza, but for many students like Arshak Khatcherian the road

to get there was rough.

At John Burroughs High School, Khatcherian, 18, was falling behind

in his grades until he transferred to Monterey, an alternative

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education school.

“Our school motto is ‘A second chance for success,’ ” Khatcherian

said.

His future now includes continuing his education at DeVry

University, where he plans to study computer networking and

animation.

Paul Humphreys was in the audience Wednesday evening to see his

daughter, Student of the Year Elisabeth Coleman, receive her diploma

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along with 34 other classmates.

“I’m very proud of her,” Humphreys said. “Since she’s gone to

Monterey, she’s done straight ‘A’ work and it’s proven in her

scholarships. I have nothing but kudos for the school and for her.”

Quincy Jackson’s parents, Regina and Chris Scully, are equally

proud of their son.

“Monterey High has been a perfect fit for him,” Regina Scully

said. “Two years ago he was failing. Now he’s graduating with two

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scholarships.”

Walt Disney Co., which has hosted the Monterey graduation for the

past 12 years, awarded a $1,000 art scholarship to Sarah Estrada and

a $1,000 academic scholarship to Reginald Nacorda.

Monterey students have had to overcome many obstacles, including

poor grades, teenage parenthood or the loss of a parent, said faculty

speaker Barbara Forletta.

Edgar Leon, one of five senior class speakers, told his classmates

that accomplishments are visions that have been fulfilled.

“We are the dreamers of dreams, and we refuse to give up,” Leon

said.

Another 25 seniors who did not participate in Wednesday’s

commencement received their diplomas in February, Monterey art

teacher Peggy Zirves said.


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