Crossroads West students recognized for academic excellence

 For many Crossroads West Alternative High School students, recognition for academic success hasn’t come often.

But for 40 students, their determination to earn their high school diplomas and move on to post-secondary studies landed them a specialspot—and a certificate of achievement—at the school’s second annual recognition breakfast, hosted last month at Champlin United Methodist Church. The church is a faith partner in the district’s School, Faith and Community Partnership network.

Crossroads student Alejandra Garcia with herRadio Shack manager Kwame Miller at the recognition breakfast. Garcia earned the Outstanding Work Experience Student Award for the first trimester of 2013, and Miller was on hand, he said, to support her. (Submitted photo)

Crossroads student Alejandra Garcia with herRadio Shack manager Kwame Miller at the recognition breakfast. Garcia earned the Outstanding Work Experience Student Award for the first trimester of 2013, and Miller was on hand, he said, to support her. (Submitted photo)

“Our students are not used to being recognized for anything school related,” said Crossroads Principal Nancy Chave. “We wanted to recognize their commitment to success.”

Crossroads West is home to adult students ages 18 to 21 who were not able to graduate on time due to personal challenges such as familyissues, homelessness or recovery from drugs and alcohol. Chave said the school’s main focus is to prepare the students for success after high school.

“We know they are going to get their diplomas,” she said. “The campus is very intensely focused on the next step. All of our kids have applied to a college or tech school this year, with some already accepted.”

Student Alejandra Garcia said her time spent at Crossroads West “really put college into perspective.”

“I want to be a teacher,” she said. “And (Crossroads West) has prepared me a lot.”

In addition to being recognized for academics, Garcia also received the Outstanding Work Experience Student Award for the first trimester of 2013. After being recruited by Northtown Mall’s Radio Shack over the summer, Garcia rose to the rank of assistant store manager. And the company also has plans for her to run her own store in the future.

Crossroads Awards Breakfast 2: Crossroads teacher Alison Konkol hugs student Shane McGuire after he received his certificate at the school’s recognition breakfast. (Submitted photo)

Crossroads Awards Breakfast 2: Crossroads teacher Alison Konkol hugs student Shane McGuire after he received his certificate at the school’s recognition breakfast. (Submitted photo)

Garcia’s boss, Kwame Miller, attended the breakfast and gave a surprise speech in honor of her achievements.

“I’m so proud of you,” Miller said to a blushing Garcia as he finished his speech.

Garcia said she is set to graduate in June and has been accepted to Anoka-Ramsey Community College. She plans to work full-time while attending college to become an elementary school teacher.

“I like kids,” she said. “I want to teach them while they’re younger so they can like school from a young age.”

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