Students in the Lincoln Charter School Class of 2019 crossed the stage on Friday at the Denver campus and Saturday at Lincolnton campus to receive their diplomas. These 153 students received acceptances to over 550 colleges or universities and financial offerings of over $10.7 million in scholarships and grants.
Some of the graduates were “lifers,” students who had been at Lincoln Charter School for 13 years, but most entered the school at different times in their lives. Many developed close relationships with their fellow students and teachers. Now that they’ve officially graduated from high school, they will be pursuing different trajectories in life. They all have their own stories to tell and some may go on to change history.
Megan Minaudo, who graduated from the Denver campus, will be attending the College of Charleston to study biology. Once she finishes her undergraduate studies, she plans to continue to graduate school in order to become a physician’s assistant. Minaudo received a National Army ROTC scholarship. She started at Lincoln Charter in the first grade and has been very competitive in track and field.
“My parents stuck me in running since day one,” she said. “They really wanted me to be on a team and to experience it. I was the very tall kid with long legs, so they thought I’d be good.”
Minaudo said that she cherishes the close friendships she’s developed during her time at Lincoln Charter. She’s ready to move on to the next chapter but at the same time she’s sad to leave and thankful to her teachers and friends.
“A big part of what makes me who I am is Lincoln Charter,” she said. “The values they instill and the stress they put on community service and getting involved have helped me.”
Minaudo graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Another Denver campus graduate, John Renegar, came to Lincoln Charter School from North Lincoln Middle School in his freshman year. He graduated Summa Cum Laude on Friday evening. He plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study political science and public policy, with the intention of becoming a lawyer. Renegar also competed in cross-country while at Lincoln Charter.
“The smaller size of Lincoln Charter enabled me to have better connections with my teachers,” he said. “I started getting into school clubs and membership on the student council introduced me to politics. I think Lincoln Charter pushed me out of my comfort zone, which enabled me to achieve more.”
Also attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to study political science is Lincolnton campus graduate Brycen Segura. Graduating Summa Cum Laude, Segura has been at Lincoln Charter since kindergarten.
“I’ve had friends there since kindergarten so we’re basically family now,” he said. “We’re all going in different directions now. I’ve loved studying government, politics and law ever since I was little. I thought an attorney’s career would be a way to pursue those interests. I may get into politics at some point.”
The closeness and family-like atmosphere of Lincoln Charter helped Lincolnton campus graduate Kymberly Gray through difficult times in her life. She lost both of her parents within a year of each other.
“My friends, teachers and family were supportive of me,” she said. “My principal told me that if at any time I needed to cry, I could come into her office. My teachers gave me extensions if I needed them and they came to the funerals. It was bittersweet to graduate and it’s sad I’m leaving all my friends and teachers because they’re practically my family now.”
Gray will also be attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She’s unsure what she’ll be studying yet but plans to do something in the medical field because her mother was a nurse. Gray graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Seventy-seven percent of the Class of 2019 plan to attend a four-year college or university, 13 percent plan to attend a two-year college. Of these students, 12 percent of them are first-generation college students. The class logged over 20,000 service hours.
Class of 2019 Latin Honors recipients:
Cum Laude - Zoey Caulder, Raquel Cespedes, Kennedy Facchino, Grace Holderby, Makenzie Tate, Ben Tibbits, Noah Watson, Kaitlyn Wiltshire
Magna Cum Laude - Megan Brailey, Emily Lanham, Julianna Lappin, Megan Minaudo, Ryan Restino, Mariah Watson
Summa Cum Laude – Cole Aganad, Caity Born, Samantha Grembecki, Jonathan Gribbins, Zach Horton, Camden Hutchinson, Hailey McGee , Nahi Nadra, John Renegar, Giovanna Solorzano, Dylan Suddath, Madison Taylor, Natalie Tilley
Cum Laude - Alex Castillo
Magna Cum Laude - Caprice Coffey, Abbigail Coleman, Kayla Crilley, Luke Nichols, Jennifer Vargas
Summa Cum Laude - Natalee Drawdy, Kymberly Gray, Jordan Grimes, Brycen Segura
Summa Cum Laude: >=4.51 Weighted GPA
Magna Cum Laude: 4.36-4.50 Weighted GPA
Cum Laude: 4.25-4.35 Weighted, 4.0 Unweighted GPA