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Nearly 40 students graduate in Crossroads High School spring commencement



Cove Leader-Press


Crossroads High School held its Spring 2024 Commencement Ceremony last Thursday at the Lea Ledger Auditorium, with 37 students walking across the stage to cheers and applause from family and friends.

Crossroads High School serves as Copperas Cove ISD’s alternative school and offers a self-paced environment for students seeking a different way of high school, whether to graduate early, on time or to make up credits.

Ryan Ayus, 18, moved to Copperas Cove during the 2019-2020 school year and started at Copperas Cove High School, where he played football and spent a few years as a student. He found out that not all of his credits from his previous high school in California transferred and was faced with having to make up those freshman credits, which he said took longer than expected.

“I got through difficulties, but made it through those, and I have been at Crossroads, and they kicked my butt and then now I’m graduated,” Ayus said. “It's a huge boulder off my shoulders. Every day from waking up to thinking I have to go to work, to school, to graduate on time. Make sure everyone's happy, proud, all of that- it definitely feels amazing to actually be able to walk the stage and do what everyone else is.”

Ayus said that without Crossroads High School, he would probably be homeless and probably would have dropped out of high school.

“[Cove] High School is really good, and they do a very fantastic job at transferring you over to Crossroads. The issue with that is during that transfer, I guess the paperwork got mixed up, and family issues at home caused me to be homeless, and so I wasn't at school for about an extra year,” Ayus said. “With that, Crossroads heard about that, and they immediately came in try to get all the paperwork done for me as soon as they could, and I came in within like two days. So, they saved my life if anything, so yeah, it's an honor to graduate from here honestly.”

Ayus said his favorite part about Crossroads High School was the staff.

“They’re amazing. They really get involved with the students personally, and they understand you very much emotionally, and that's a big thing…All these teachers - they take time out of their day to just learn about us, teach us, try to figure out how they can help us graduate faster and learn while we're trying to graduate.”

Ayus plans to attend Central Texas College and then look into the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. He said he wants to become a Park Ranger.

Khaliyah Epps, 17, ended up graduating early thanks to Crossroads High School.

“I ended up at Crossroads because I had a lot of mental issues back at home, and I decided to come here to graduate early because I just didn't have my life together,” Epps said. “When I first got here, it was like, I wasn't sure if I was going to be graduating this year or not, but whenever I finished my last class, I've never been that happy to do something.”

Epps came to Crossroads High School in November 2023.

“Honestly, the staff was really great,” Epps said. “I didn't have any complaints with them. They always will help you out. They’ll help you understand what you have to do.”

After graduating, Epps said she plans to go to art school. She said she is still looking into her options of which school to apply to.

Epps was very excited about graduating and said it felt unreal.

“I'm graduating, and I'm out of here!” Epps exclaimed.

Before presenting the Spring Class of 2024 to the superintendent, Crossroads High School Principal Pat Crawley welcomed the graduates back onto the stage in front of their friends and family and gave a message of encouragement.

“Graduates, today is your day. It marks the culmination of years of effort that each of you have traveled a unique journey to get to where you are at this moment, and your presence here today is a testament to your resilience,” Crawley said. “At Crossroads, we believe in a second chance, in a new beginning. We understand life does not always follow a straight path, and sometimes the road to success is often the one less traveled. You have embraced this journey and in you doing so, you're demonstrating your tenacity to succeed.”

The Spring 2024 graduating class of Crossroads High School includes: Mekalynn Ascherl, Ryan Ayus, Robert Callison, Jada Childers, Dreabon Crittendon, Isaac Cunningham, Ii’zriel Daniels-Burgie, Andrew Demontegnac, Kloe Dockins, Ethan Duff, Khaliyah Epps, Amy Geronimo, Vanessa Gulley, Nevaeh Jensen, Douglas Keller, Autumn Laguna-O’Neill, Skylayah Lane, Samar Lloyd, Jeremiah Luckett, Damon Matthews, Jace McDowney, Davontae Mills-Kelly, Detrick Moore, Emma Raoelina, Kenadee Reid, A’Miracle Rhodes, Harry Rizor, Ashley Robinson, Iliani Rodriguez, Juan Rojas Rivera, Shannon Sayers, T-Son Sigrah, Naudia Smith, Olivia “Jayden” Sperlich, Kiana Steadman, Lukas Trevino and Jorsina Wagner.

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