Metro East Web Academy High School Graduation
Celebrating 9 Years of High School Graduates
I was so excited to be the Portland photographer chosen to work with Metro East Web Academy for so many of their high school graduations.
Metro East Web Academy (MEWA) is an online public charter school approved by the Oregon Department of Education. Each academy student receives a personalized education program designed to meet their unique needs. They focus not only on traditional education, but also on lesson around how to tackle stress in our lives, how to manage anxiety, how to build healthy relationships, and how to understand the perspectives of others. They care about the whole child and believe that in order for children to succeed in academics, they need to be well socially and emotionally first. What a beautiful philosophy and one I can easily get behind.
Class of 2011
I first had the honor of working with Metro East Web Academy (then called Gresham-Barlow Web Academy) in 2011. I was so thrilled to work with this small school that was helping students archive their educational goals through alternative means. Let's face it, not all kids learn the same, some kids are working and not all home lives are conducive to traditional educational. If I am remembering correctly it may have been their first graduation, if not, it was in the first few. At that time they had just 11 students that would walk the stage and receive their diploma during the commencement held at Persimmon Country Club.
I also photographed their 8th grade promotion at Dexter McCarty Middle School as they celebrated being promoted to high school.
Class of 2012
The following year the walking graduates almost tripled! Bring the number of graduates from 11 to 30. Joined by their family and friends it was a packed house inside the small event center at Persimmon Country Club.
Class of 2013
As the school continued to grow the high school graduation and 8th grade promotion were moved to Grace Community Church in 2013. Metro East Web Academy knows what an honor for any child graduating is and wanted to make sure each graduate could invite their family and friends to be there for this big moment. Once again showing their commitment as a school to not just the child but the community that surrounds them.
Class of 2014
In 2014 the MEWA finally found it's forever home for their high school graduation and 8th grad promotion at East Hill. East Hill's campus includes a beautiful large auditorium that would accommodate this schools growing number of graduates and their families. This year over 50 students would walk during commencement.
Class of 2015
One unique thing about this school is many of the students may not know each other. Much of their class work in done online so it's not often the full class is together. On graduation day they are not only celebrating their achievements together, but also getting to meet and getting to know some of their other classmates.
Class of 2017
One of the fun things about photographing high school graduation is getting to hear the speeches. Once we leave high school it's not often we get to sit and hear a motivational speech about our future. Also hearing the voice of each coming generation is a beautiful thing. How do they see the world around them? How do they want to improve things? How will they create lasting change?
Class of 2018
One of my other favorite parts of graduation is the end. When all the graduates pile out of the building to meet their families, they joy felt is infectious. So many people hugging, smiling and family meeting staff and teachers that have helped their kids reach their goals. Plus with the diverse mix of ethnicities and backgrounds it is a treat to see how each one honors this special moment. Including flowers, balloons, flags and a verity of necklaces including all kinds of things from candy to money.
Class of 2019
High school graduation is a major milestone! That's why, even in today's world professional photography has become and remained a tradition in schools everywhere. Each graduate deserves to have a personalized portrait that let's them shine and celebrate their achievements. Even if it has been a long time since you have graduated yourself, I'm sure you can relate to how you felt then and the importance of that day.