Pineville High School freshmen commit to commencement

PINEVILLE, La. (KALB) - How do you make the most of 2 million minutes?

"You hear it freshman year," said Pineville High School senior Julia Penn. "You always get the 2 million minute speech. It's like, oh we have so much time, but then it flies by."

It's a question Pineville High School mentors helped freshmen find the answers to Wednesday at their "Commitment to Commencement" ceremony.

"We come up on stage and get a diploma, sort of making a pact or an oath to graduate," said senior Ben West. "That you will give your full effort for four years."

Principal Karl Carpenter called the diploma a ticket to the real world.

"There is never a time that is too early to start talking to them about focusing on the future," Carpenter said. "There is something beyond Pineville High School"

The Class of 2022 also visited stations to prepare.

"In the library, we have a reflection that is where we write a letter to self," Penn said. "In the boys' gym, they get their progress reports."

Many freshmen were motivated to set the bar high.

"Every year I want to have at least a 3.8 GPA when I graduate," said freshman Nathan Jerome." And I think that is a high standard, but I think that with this school, their expectation and academics I can really do it."

The school started this ceremony three years ago and goes all out to make sure freshman get to the finish line in four years.

"65% of our students graduate and go to college, they will see another graduation," Carpenter said. "35% Of my students, this will be their only graduation and so I want that to be special for them and to see this is a big deal."

But, before they reach that line, Penn hopes they spend their minutes wisely.

"I was super shy and then I joined student council and that really helped me come out of my shell," Penn said. "Because at Pineville, everybody has a place, we have so many different clubs, everyone belongs here."

Carpenter got the idea when attending a similar ceremony at the Louisiana School for the Math, Sciences, and Arts.

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