On Friday, June 3, nine students from Hilltop Alternative High School — six from Hermiston and three from Stanfield — will join 31 students from Pendleton’s Hawthorne Alternative High School in a joint graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. at the Vert Auditorium in Pendleton.

One student from Echo and three from Hermiston are also expected to earn GEDs.

Hilltop Principal Suzy Mayes likens her students’ achievements to a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “What lies behind you and what lies in front of you pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”

“I think throughout their journeys they’ve learned of whom they are and what they’re capable of doing,” Mayes said in a press release. “They’ve accomplished so much and stay true to who they are. That’s what brought them through the past and will take them into the future. They’ve proven they are capable of reaching their goals and doing what needs to be done. I know they’re going to do very well and be successful and great people. I’m really proud of them.”

Both alternative high schools, as well as a school in Milton-Freewater, are part of the InterMountain Alternative Education Consortium, facilitated by the Umatilla-Morrow Education Service District.

The public is invited to attend the graduation ceremonies.

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