2019 Middle College Graduation

2019 Middle College Graduation
Posted on 06/12/2019
Middle College students move their tassels from right to left after being declared graduates.By Tim Reaves
BCS Communications Department

During a small graduation ceremony at AB-Tech’s Magnolia Hall on Tuesday, Buncombe County Middle College teachers celebrated seniors as they prepared for the next chapter of their lives.

“We are very proud of you,” said Assistant Principal Lindsay Rice. “You have all demonstrated perseverance and dedication in the pursuit of your high school diploma. These qualities will continue to serve you well as you work toward the achievement of your personal and professional goals. I see in each of you great accomplishment and hope for the future.”

English teacher and keynote speaker Jason Rhodes encouraged the graduates to “learn, laugh, and love.” He challenged them to focus on getting the small things right, always do their best, take chances, and keep reading.

He had something special to say to each of the nine graduates – advice, affirmation, or a fun memory.

“Love grows and grows, and unlike money it’s the only thing I know of that truly lasts,” he said. “So congratulations. I love you all.”

Devin Hyden poses in the Middle College hallwayA ‘BRIDGE TO OPPORTUNITY’

Middle College, a Cooperative-Innovative High School, focuses on students who need smaller class sizes to thrive. The 11th- and 12th-grade program shares a building with Buncombe County Early College, which allows students to more easily take AB-Tech classes while still in high school.

Devin Hyden, one of Tuesday’s graduates, said his previous high school was not a good fit. He didn’t thrive and was close to dropping out, but his mother asked him to look into Middle College.

“It’s what I needed,” he said. “There’s smaller classes, teachers are always available, and they treat you like an adult. They do everything they can to put the right steps in front of you.”

Hyden is in AB-Tech’s Diesel and Heavy Equipment Technology Program, and he plans to continue his education at a more specialized school.

“I like coming to school now, and I want to keep going,” he said.


Sarah Legrande is a Buncombe County Middle College graduate.“The staff at Middle College is always there to work with your needs and your schedule. Whatever it is, they help you find a solution," said Sarah Leogrande.


“I enjoyed every moment with my teachers. They encouraged me to work hard and improve my grades. They were there for me,” said Gilberto Silva-Jaime.Gilberto Silva-Jaime is a Buncombe County Middle College graduate.


Emma Shockley is a graduate of Buncombe County Middle College."I felt like I was treated as an adult, and the teachers were absolutely amazing," said Emma Shockley.


Middle College graduates pose outside Magnolia Hall at AB-Tech.