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By Sarah Mansur, Dispatch staff

Members of the Henderson Collegiate Pride of 2019 sing the school’s alma mater during their promotion ceremony.

MARK DOLEJS / Dispatch Staff

Carlos Cruz takes a look at a certificate as he and three other classmates, including Victor Clifton (back right), are honored for completing seventh and eighth grades with a 4.0 grade point average. The other two students honored for the achievement were Ashlee Catlette and Shannon Hunter.
MARK DOLEJS / Dispatch Staff

Jackson Olsen congratulates Shannon Hunter for scoring in the 99th percentile on all four of her end of grade tests during Thursday night’s ceremony.

MARK DOLEJS / Dispatch Staff

y’Mir Lewis (left) sings the line of a song during a time of sharing as the Pride of 2019 prepares for the eighth-grade promotion ceremony of Henderson Collegiate on Thursday night.

Al-Leain Young considers her classmates family.

“It’s not everyday you see a family as strong as us,” said Al-Leain, who is a rising eighth-grader at Henderson Collegiate.

Al-Leain and about 100 of her peers celebrated their transition from eighth grade to high school during Henderson Collegiate’s promotion ceremony Thursday night.

Noah Snowden said the promotion ceremony is different from graduation.

“Promotion is still a huge accomplishment,” he said. “It’s a step towards attending and graduating from our college of choice.”

One mission of Henderson Collegiate is to have 100 percent of its students attending the college of their choice.

Henderson Collegiate has grades grades to eight, and next year the school will move into its new facility on Old Epsom Road.

The school will add a grade each year until it has complete middle and high schools.

Eric and Carice Sanchez opened the charter school in the summer of 2010 with 100 students, and now there are about 100 students in each grade.

At Henderson Collegiate, classes are named according to the year students will graduate high school.

The rising eighth-graders are the Pride of 2019.

Evangeline Mitchell attended the ceremony at Vance-Granville Community College’s Civic Center to cheer on her goddaughter.

Mitchell said the school has been a good fit for her.

“I think she would be bored at a traditional school,” she said.

During the promotion ceremony, four students were presented awards for earning a perfect grade point average.

While the school may be challenging, Spotswood Burwell — a rising eighth-grader — said there is a safe and inclusive environment that enables students to be successful.

“We are different from other schools because of the way we inspire each other,” Spotswood said.

Contact the writer at smansur@hendersondispatch.com.

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