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News Story
Updated: 05/18/2014 08:00:02AM

Academy grad shares story of struggle, triumph

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SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

The Academy at Charlotte Technical Center principal Karen LaPorte was especially proud of Tiffany Morgan, 21, who was able to complete the requirements for graduation, despite battling a serious illness. Tiffany was unable to be with the rest of her class for Commencement ceremonies Friday afternoon, but was on-site for the event at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda, and spoke to those present via a video.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER
The Academy at Charlotte Technical Center 2014 graduate Jessica Blanchette, 19, adjusts her cap before Friday afternoon's ceremony at the Charlotte Performing Arts Center in Punta Gorda. She was hanging out beforehand with fellow grad Dennis Matteau, 18.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

Principal Karen LaPorte presents an honored Brittany Pell with the annual Principal Lighthouse Leadership Award, given to the school's student of the year.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

The graduates busted out into the Harlem Shake (a ridiculous dance from the 1980s, which somehow became popular again last year) as part of a surprise midway through Friday's ceremony.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

Grad Caleb Goff is congratulated by Charlotte County Public Schools superintendent Doug Whittaker as he walks across the stage with his newly acquired high school diploma.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

The grads throw their caps in the air at the end of the ceremony.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

New grad Katlyn James gets a kiss on the cheek after the ceremony from a proud aunt, Jerri Faith.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

New grad Courtney Marx, 17, posses with family and friends after the ceremony so her happy mother can take a photo.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

Grad Dagine Delnice, 17, was glad her friends Harrison and Casey Rhodes came to support her.

SUN PHOTO BY ADAM KREGER

Michael Torres, 20, was one of four gradutes to address the class of 2014 with a speech Friday afternoon.

By PAUL FALLON

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Tiffany Morgan wasn’t sure she’d ever be able to get her high school diploma.

Tiffany, who is now 21 years old, chose to quit school at age 17 when attending high school in Georgia, to help her ailing mother. However she opted to start back to school when she was 20, attending classes through The Academy at Charlotte Technical Center in Murdock.

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