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The long road to a special graduation

David Allen, 18, celebrated his high school graduation like many of his classmates ” proudly sporting a red cap and gown, and grinning from ear to ear.

As was the case for many of his peers, Allen made great strides between his freshman and senior years at Truckee High School. And, like many other graduating seniors, Allen will go on to enjoy time on a college campus.

“I’m happy to graduate. Because I got through high school,” Allen said recently in between bites of pepperoni pizza and photographs with friends.



Allen’s future is still up in the air, but his parents say he will most likely go on to the school district’s transitional program at Sierra College.

Alongside fellow senior Dania Corral, 18, Allen celebrated Saturday the completion of four years in Truckee High’s Community Based Instruction Program ” a Tahoe Truckee Unified School District special-education curriculum.



Teacher Robin Marchi started with the program at the same time as her two Class of 2007 graduates.

“I hope they’ll carry on in all the things they’ve learned to do here, and hope they’ll be successful in whatever they want to do. I know they will,” Marchi said with tears in her eyes.

Behind long, golden-brown hair, Corral explained how sad she is to leave high school. With a downcast face, she said she was going to miss her friends and teachers.

But her eyes lit up at the mention of the graduation ceremony, where she wore a white cap and gown and proudly marched across stage to mark her four years at Truckee High School.

Though Allen and Corral won’t be receiving actual diplomas, they will likely be awarded some sort of certification, said Allen’s mother, Julie Allen.

Corral wants to be a teacher when she grows up, “to boss all the kids ” to be bossy,” she said.

She is planning to go into the district’s transitional program this fall.

The students, their parents, classmates and State Park rangers celebrated Allen and Corral’s milestone Friday at Zano’s, where both have worked throughout their high school years.

“David’s not through learning, in sentences, in speech and with computers. All those academic skills, he’s right to [want] to continue,” said Randy Allen, David’s father and an instructional assistant with his class. “It’s going to be a change for him, but I think he’s excited.”

David Allen’s mother, Julie, is also involved with the school district’s special-education programs.

“They’ve come such a long, long way,” said Julie Allen. “I’m so proud of him. He’s come such a long way, even his speech. Socially, too.”

Both Allen and Corral will continue with summer school before moving into the community-based instruction transition program at Sierra College.


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