Horizon Honors Graduation

Alexandria Dockery claps for her teachers before the Horizon Honors High School Commencement at Sun Valley Church in Tempe on Tuesday, May 28, 2013.

[David Jolkovski/AFN]

Seniors at Horizon Honors are gearing up for their graduation ceremony, which will take place Tuesday evening at Sun Valley Community Church in Tempe.

There will be 78 seniors graduating this year, of which 16 of the graduates have been students at Horizon Community Learning Center since kindergarten.

Charlie McLaughlin, an instructor at Horizon, said graduation was a bitter-sweet moment for him because he has had great relationships with many of the graduates.

Nancy Emmons, principal at Horizon Honors, said that the graduation ceremony was different than most high schools because there would be no speeches from administrators.

“We want it to be all about those students, so what we do is we have a person who they identify on being important in their life… and that person gives a brief speech for that child,” she said. “We take up our time with some really heartfelt stories… they’re very personal messages. They give such an insight on each one of the kids, and we celebrate every single kid in that personal manner.”

The valedictorian, Manu Kondapi, will be the only student from Horizon Honors to speak to the graduating class.

“It’s just a celebration of these kids. A number of them have gone to school here for their entire education. For those who have joined us in middle school and high school, we’ve gotten to know them very well,” Emmons said. “That’s part of our mission is that being a smaller community, we have personal relationships with kids and families who we get to know on an individual basis. Along with their families we get to celebrate these amazing accomplishments. They get into great colleges and do amazing things.”

Horizon Honor’s graduation ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 27 at Sun Valley Community Church, 6101 S. River Road, Tempe.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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