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PINEVILLE, LA - Coming into the final semester of their senior year, Sarah Baker and Krislyn Broussard of Pineville and Chelsey Toth of Deville found themselves in an unusual crossroads – how and where to finish their high school careers.
Choosing not to return to their previous school, Cenla Christian Academy, the three opted for the dual enrollment program at Louisiana College, and they planned to receive their degrees as home schoolers. Little did they know another opportunity would arise.
At the same time the three seniors began pursuing LC, LC was putting the finishing touches on its plan to begin the Louisiana College International Academy, a new program designed specifically for high school juniors and seniors who excel in the classroom and want to get a significant jump on their college education.
When LC received approval for the academy in March from the Louisiana Department of Education and the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), two courses came together, and Baker, Broussard and Toth were given the opportunity to become the first official graduating class of LCIA.
“Divine intervention,” Broussard called it.
“It’s cool,” Toth said of the chance to make history.
“It was an amazing opportunity we couldn’t pass up,” said Baker.
Thursday night at the Presser Recital Hall on campus, the three young women were joined by family and friends along with LC’s administration for a graduation ceremony no one likely imagined as little as a few months ago.
“This happened because of faith,” LC President Dr. Joe Aguillard said. “It was not by chance, coincidence or fate. It is by faith this institution exists, and tonight we are witnessing a miracle.”
“You’ll look back and know that you were part of history,” said the commencement speaker, State Senator Neil Riser (R-District 32) to the graduates. “But, your education doesn’t end here tonight – it’s just beginning.”
In actuality, for Baker, Broussard and Toth, their education will continue at LC. All three, each of whom took 12 hours of class time at LC for the spring semester, are enrolled for the fall semester.
In fact, Baker plans to be an LC cheerleader, and her school spirit was already showing through after the three were given their high school diplomas and a standing ovation from those who attended the event.
“That we could all be a part of this is really an amazing thing in that we didn’t have any idea what we were getting into at the beginning of the semester,” Baker said. “That all this has happened is just awesome. It’s amazing.”
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