Crossroads students celebrate accomplishments

It’s a day many Crossroads Alternative High School students thought would never come: graduation day.

“I wasn’t on track to graduate on time,” said Eric Courteau, one of three student speakers during the May 29 graduation ceremony at Anoka High School.

But Courteau did by finding an alternative learning environment that allowed him to thrive when mainstream high school didn’t, he said.

Nearly 30 Anoka-Hennepin high school students were in Courteau’s boat, studying at Crossroads Alternative High School’s main campus in Coon Rapids. Nearly five dozen more Anoka-Hennepin students continued their education past age 18 at the Crossroads West campus in Champlin, finishing up their high school coursework this year.

After student speaker Shane McGuire’s dad died, he lost momentum, but honors breakfast was a “mood-changer,” he told the crowd. He buckled down because he knew his dad would have wanted him to “fight the fight and keep going north,” he said, which is what he will continue to do in his job, a full-time, third-shift position.

McGuire said he wouldn’t have made it through high school if it wasn’t for his mom, who made sure he was awake daily; his girlfriend; the “amazing” staff at Crossroads; and countless others.

“Do not give up,” McGuire told his fellow graduates. “Set your goals – they are reachable.”

Student speaker Amy Anderson shared a similar sentiment: “I hope you all chase after your dreams and do well with the rest of your life story.”

The students received certificates of completion and will collect their diplomas from their home high schools at a later date.

Three students were awarded $1,000 scholarships.

The Coon Rapids Lions presented Nikki Baker with a scholarship. The Cory Lerbakken Scholarship was awarded to Anthony Harren. Ethan Grewe received a scholarship from the Anoka Rotary Club.

Student speaker Shane McGuire, a Crossroads West student, shares an original poem with fellow graduates, urging them to head north and follow their dreams. Photos by Olivia Koester In some ways, student speaker Amy Anderson can’t believe graduation day is finally here, she said. High school drama and tedious readings made some days drag, but the fun had and memories made caused high school to be over in the blink of an eye, she told those gathered at the Crossroads graduation ceremony May 29. When mainstream schools didn’t work for student speaker Eric Courteau, he began attending Crossroads Alternative High School. He’s proud of himself and his fellow graduates, he said before students lined up to walk across the stage and receive certificates of completion. Justin Fox shakes hands with Anoka-Hennepin School Board Chairman Tom Heidemann after receiving his certificate of completion from Crossroads West. About seven dozen students walked across the Anoka High School stage May 29, graduating from Crossroads Alternative High School. Nikki Baker walks up to receive a $1,000 scholarship from the Coon Rapids Lions. The $1,000 Cory Lerbakken Scholarship went to Anthony Harren. Ethan Grewe was the recipient of the Anoka Rotary Club’s $1,000 scholarship. Graduates Kelly Andersen and Abigail Bangen hug immediately following the ceremony.
<
>
In some ways, student speaker Amy Anderson can’t believe graduation day is finally here, she said. High school drama and tedious readings made some days drag, but the fun had and memories made caused high school to be over in the blink of an eye, she told those gathered at the Crossroads graduation ceremony May 29.

Olivia Koester is at [email protected]