ROAD TO GRADUATION – Nearly 50 IPS students graduated from Graduation Academy on Thursday,  June 6. Below, Principal Trenna Sultzer addressed the crowd.


Graduation Academy hosted fifth commencement ceremony



The 2019 graduation for the students of Graduation Academy was an exciting affair.

Nearly 50 students received their high school diplomas during the family-filled ceremony on Thursday, June 6, inside Anderson Auditorium on the campus of Arsenal Technical High School.

An IPS program that caters to students who need a non-traditional academic setting, Graduation Academy provides students dealing with everything from academic to personal issues the ability to attend classes online, and flexible schedules.

The support students received from family, friends, teachers and IPS administrators was inspiring.

“This has been a very different year,” said Graduation Academy Principal Treanna Sultzer, as she addressed the crowd and graduates. “I have watched these students meet every challenge that we presented to them to make it to this moment. As I told you (graduates) earlier, you are some of the most resilient people I have ever worked with. And I love you.”

Keynote speakers provided encouragement, sharing their own stories of struggle and how they overcame them, including veteran IPS teacher Gary Dodd. After 40 years as an educator, this was Dodd’s final graduation before his retirement at the end of this school year.

Class of 2019 graduate Lourdes Medina-Cruz, 18, shared her story of overcoming teen motherhood and how she became a positive example for her family and others.

Lourdes, the mother of a 2-year-old, graduated with a 3.15 GPA and will attend Ivy Tech this fall. Her goal is to become an account and to attend law school. She is the first person in her family to both graduate from high school and attend college.

“My siblings see me a leader who had personal challenges, but who still went to school every day,” said Lourdes.

Her advice to fellow graduates and underclassmen? Never give up or let obstacles get in the way of their progress.

“If I can accomplish my goals and accomplish my work, then you can also. Remember to use all of your resources (teachers, family and friends),” said Lourdes. “There’s always another option or way to get around your obstacles. It should be a team effort for you to be successful, but you are responsible for most of it. Surround yourself with people who are willing to help you meet your goals. And I want to say ‘thank you’ to the village that helped me.”