The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

The official student news site of Athens Drive High School

ATHENS ORACLE

Athens Drive Mid-Year Graduates celebrate a jumpstart to success

Crystal McCabe, a recent graduate, poses outside Athens Drive High School. She is one of many graduates celebrating at the Mid-Year Graduation.
Photos by Crystal McCabe
Crystal McCabe, a recent graduate, poses outside Athens Drive High School. She is one of many graduates celebrating at the Mid-Year Graduation.

Athens Drive High School students have officially wrapped up fall semester classes for the 2023-24 school year, ready to take on a new semester for a fresh start until the end of the school year. However, a handful of students have already graduated in their unique study path, moving on to the world outside of high school. Their graduation, which took place on the evening of the first day of February, celebrated their early completion of high school as they left Athens Drive.

“It was very fun, and it went by pretty fast, but I think it was important for us,” said Crystal McCabe, one of the select few Athens alumni to have graduated. “Even though we graduated mid-year, it was still like a graduation and we all got to see our friends and teachers for the last time.”

When most think of a high school graduation, they picture hundreds of seniors, all lined up, waiting to hear their names called, each spending only moments walking across the stage and receiving recognition. For Mid-Year Graduation, however, boasting few grads is much more intimate as compared to a traditional graduation.

“At the Mid-Year Graduation, we are a little more relaxed and less formal than we are at the big June graduation,” said Christopher Remaley, Senior Class Advisor. “We allow parents to approach the stage for [pictures] and we let families get loud and celebrate when the grad’s name is read.”

In the traditional graduation ceremony, the audience is asked to withhold cheers until all names are called. The Mid-Year Graduation, however, allows for an entirely different atmosphere. Although the graduation ceremony is much smaller in size, it still takes many hours of planning.

“Where do I begin? It is a lot of logistical stuff: things like ordering the diplomas, which means I need to verify spelling & pronunciation,” said Remaley. “I have to coordinate the platform guests & speakers…I make the Graduation Program… I also decorate and set up the stage. I have a rehearsal with the Grads so they know what to do and so much more! That is only just a small snapshot of what I do!”

The idea of graduating a semester early is fairly unconventional, as the vast majority of outgoing seniors choose to graduate in the spring. Most who graduate early choose to do so for various reasons, most commonly, to give themselves a headstart on their career goals.

“I chose to graduate early because I kind of wanted to get like a jumpstart in college just to get all my main courses out the way, and have more time to myself to learn new things,” said McCabe. 

For many, that early start at college means spending a semester at community college to get easier college credits out of the way, creating a more affordable and resourceful way to then transfer into a four-year school later on.

“As of right now, I am at Wake Tech and I want to get my arts associate degree, then head to a four-year university to become a book author,” said McCabe.

Having wrapped up her final semester as a high school student, McCabe was grateful to celebrate the end of her time at Athens Drive through the Mid-Year Graduation event. She is one of many graduates who thanks to the event, was able to conclude on a positive note.

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