Mansfield ISD Magazine Winter 2019/2020 | Page 16

MISD SCHOOL HELPS STUDENTS OVERCOME ADVERSITY C heers erupted in the front office of The Phoenix Academy as it was announced that yet another student has just graduated from Mansfield ISD. No, it’s not May; but news of students earning enough credits to graduate occurs all throughout the year at the campus. The Phoenix Academy provides a self-paced, accelerated curriculum for students who may be deficient in their credits or meet one or more of the state at-risk criteria factors. It is designed to provide students with an individualized plan to graduate and move forward toward college, career or the military. “A misnomer is that this is the school for ‘those kids.’ Well, let me describe my kids,” said Principal Regenia Crane. “I’ve had kids where they had to take care of their family members. I’ve had kids who have had health issues, and kids who have experienced some trauma.” “We have mentors, financing workshops and college planning workshops. We have a person who comes and helps the children find scholarships and other career opportunities,” Crane said. “The district’s vision of inspiring and educating students to be productive citizens does not end once these students enter our doors. We want to see them win.” many opportunities and caring and loving people, but also like the encouragement of being able to know, ‘I did it. I made it.’ A lot of these kids have so much potential. They don’t know how to use it, but Mrs. Crane helps you to unlock that potential and truly be yourself and get where you need to be.” Students who graduate from The Phoenix Academy attend the graduation ceremony of their home campus in May. Timeisha Harris was one of four students who graduated from The Phoenix Academy on Dec. 6. She said she is so proud of herself for everything she has had to overcome. “I can’t believe I’m graduating,” she said. “It’s such a great school with To attend the academy, applicants must be at least 16 years old and have a minimum of 10 credits. For more information about the process and qualifications, visit Crane said the students who attend the school may have been hit with unfortunate circumstances in life, but—like a phoenix—they learn how to rise from the ashes. “These are my diamonds in the rough, where life—whether it’s life at school, life at home, life in the community—has covered them up, so it is hard for them to shine. Our goal is to help them to shine.” The Phoenix Academy graduated a record number of 213 students last year. To prepare students for life after high school, the campus partners with community businesses to teach the young adults important life skills. 16 MANSFIELDTODAY Classmates and teachers cheer on Harris on her graduation day. The goal for Crane (middle) and her assistant principals is to transform lives.