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GROW Academy bids farewell to 8th grade class

The GROW Academy of Shafter held its Promotion Ceremony at the Fred Starrh Performing Arts Center at Shafter High School on Thursday, bidding farewell to its eighth grade class.

This was the third such ceremony in GROW's history. opening its doors in 2017.

Principal Lacie Harris welcomed a standing room only crowd to the event, celebrating the promotion of their children to the high school level in their educational careers.

With the majority of the class moving on to attend Shafter High School, this was a sneak preview for the scholars of their future home. The keynote speaker for the event was Mayor Chad Givens, but Givens "was unable to attend," she said. It was later learned that Givens had been disinvited over the contents of his planned remarks (see separate story).

The Scholar of the Year for GROW Academy was presented to Ryla Hashen. Hashen spoke about the wonderful memories that were made in their time as Comets. "I will never forget our trips as a class, such as the trip to Six Flags, or the visit to the Museum of Tolerance, and especially our trip to Washington, D.C. This experience gave us a chance to see historic places, such as the White House, Lincoln Memorial and the Capitol building."

Hashen then said that although this chapter of their journey is ending, a new chapter is just beginning. "We now face the challenges of high school. But, we have shown that we are resilient, strong and can conquer those challenges that lay ahead of us."

Counselor Adrianna Salazar also spoke to the attendees. Salazar said that she remembers the time in 2017 when this class began at the school. "All of us were excited, nervous, and wondering what the next few years would hold. I am so proud of all of you for your accomplishments. You are now officially GROW Academy Comets' Alumni. Congratulations to all of you scholars and we will always remember your time here."

Principal Harris congratulated the graduates and said that she is so excited to see what the future holds for this special class.

GROW Academy is a public charter school. The campus is unique in its Edible Schoolyard, in which the students operate a vegetable garden that they then use to prepare dishes in their culinary classes. Each student gets an education in what it takes to take food from seeds to the table.


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