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I-SS DROPOUT RATE HITS NEW LOW

Josh Carpenter says he used to be a “very troubled child." But in just a few short weeks, he’ll be a high school graduate, another success story in Iredell-Statesville Schools’ continued effort to ensure that everyone who enters the school doors walks out one day with a diploma.

Carpenter, 18, actually dropped out of school last year. For several years, he had bounced back and forth between his home school, West Iredell High, and Monticello School, one of two alternative high schools in the district, due to altercations and fights -- and he had finally decided to pack it in. A change of heart, though, brought Carpenter back this year to Monticello, where students are typically sent for short-term behavior problems, but has in recent years become a long-term safe haven where students can drop back into school and escape the crowded atmospheres of a traditional school.

“It’s an amazing feeling. It’s the first time I feel like I’ve achieved something in my life,” Carpenter said about his upcoming graduation, after which he hopes to enroll in a mechanical program at Mitchell Community College. He attributed the ability to turn his academic career around to a staff at Monticello that he said genuinely cared about his future.

“I guess they just kept believing in me,” he said. 

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Mooresville Tribune