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Project for Alternative Learning Center celebrates graduation

Posted at 10:21 PM, May 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-01 00:21:51-04

HELENA – The Project for Alternative Learning Center (PAL) congratulated its Class of 2019 on Friday at the Myrna Loy Center.

There were several significant speakers for the ceremony: Lt. Gov. Mike Cooney as well as his son, PAL instructor Ryan Cooney.

Lt. Gov. Cooney gave a speech not about himself but about his son’s struggles as a student. Ryan Cooney is now a renowned faculty member of PAL.

Helena Public Schools Supt. Tyler Ream also spoke at the graduation ceremony alongside PAL Principal Wynn Randall, who congratulated all the students on their personal perseverance and academic success.

Students were given their diplomas as well as other awards such as the “Resiliency Award.”

Graduate Derek Reed told MTN Friday was the “happiest day of his life” and spoke openly about the personal academic struggles he faced making it to graduation.

“The teacher that pushed me the most was Renee Driessen,” Reed said. “She was my advisor, and she told me, every day, she knew that I could do it, and she was the support that I needed.”

Reed was greeted by family and friends as the ceremony came to a close and a new chapter of his life began.