Michelle Boucher waited thirteen years to receive her high school diploma from STARS Accelerated High School. The day finally came on August 5, 2021.
Back in 2008, Boucher completed all courses at the then-STARS Academy, but she did not pass all required parts of the state-required exams through the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS).
Texas Education Agency regulations changed in 2018 allowing school districts to award diplomas to former students like Boucher. The commissioner’s rules made special provisions for students who entered ninth grade before the 2011-12 school year, successfully completed applicable curriculum requirements, did not perform satisfactorily on state assessments but attempted the exams at available opportunities, and met alternative graduation requirements.
Boucher, who received her diploma from STARS principal Margaret Rodriquez, has been working as a certified nursing assistant but will now be able to pursue higher education to become a registered nurse. “That’s been here dream and goal,” Rodriquez said.
An alternative academic high school that is part of Granbury ISD, STARS provides an optional setting with flexibility and personalized self-paced courses for high school students whose needs are not met in the traditional school. The acronym stands for Self-Motivated Teens Achieving Responsibility and Success.
Over one thousand students have graduated from STARS since its founding in 1994.