37 Years Late In Earning A High School Diploma

A special ceremony was held in the Cherokee County Board of Education on Monday, June 12, for the presentation of a High School Diploma to Tracy Hutcheson of Piedmont.  Superintendent of Cherokee County Schools, Mike Welsh, made the presentation to the classmate he grew up with and went to school with but did not graduate with.

Mr. Welsh said during his career as Principal and Superintendent he has had the privilege of presenting diplomas to graduates and then later presenting diplomas to their children. However, he said this was the first time he had presented diplomas to graduates and then presented the diploma to their parent. Mr. Welsh presented Hutcheson with an actual Spring  Garden High School diploma which he was able to complete the required study course work through a special program in the Community College System through the Alabama Department of Education.

Mr. Hutcheson tells us more:

Hutcheson said he wants to encourage today’s students to get their diploma while they can and not make the same mistake he did. He said it was more difficult to obtain now than it would have been 37 years earlier.

During the ceremony, Hutcheson wore a Spring Garden Cap and Gown previously worn by his son Jared Hutcheson who graduated at Spring Garden in 2015 and died in an ATV accident in 2019. The cap and gown added an extra special element to the ceremony.

Hutcheson’s wife, daughter and grandchildren were in attendance for this special occasion.

After the presentation, Mr. Hutcheson went out on the sidewalk in front of the Board of Education Office, and like most High School Grads on Graduation Day, threw his cap into the air, something he had wanted to do for 37 years.

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