American Graduate Champion: Alex O’Brien

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Alex O’Brien! Alex O’Brien is a math teacher in Buda, Texas. She is invested in her students. “Mrs. O’Brien is a champion because she is extremely smart and organized. She stays on top of her students and can always help them on anything they need help with,” her nomination form said.

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Debbie Cook

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Debbie Cook! Debbie Cook is a tennis coach and AP U.S. History teacher in San Marcos, Texas. Recently, Cook lost her house to heavy rainfall, losing almost everything and stalling plans to open a woodworking shop with another teacher after retiring. The community poured out its support. Despite her losses, Cook maintained her positive attitude, keeping her chin up and smiling during classes and pushing her athletes in tennis matches. “Coach Cook would always make the entire team run whenever I used the phrase ‘I can’t.’ She believed in us not necessarily always win, but to give 110% every time we played,” her nomination form said.

“She touched everyone’s lives just as much as she did mine. She is genuinely compassionate and unselfish. I aspire to be like her,” Claudia Norman continued on the form. “Someone who may seem ordinary, impacted me on such a personal level that I attempt to be positive for her, then eventually myself. I see just how much an attitude can effect someone’s reality. Coach Cook exemplifies many of the attributes I wish to posses and learn throughout my life. She taught me and so many others that we can do it, we can be great.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Hannah Ramsey

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Hannah Ramsey! Hannah Ramsey is a student from Buda, Texas. She attends Georgetown University and plays softball. She is a great role model for young people. “Hannah is a dedicated student, she works hard at anything she is given. If there is an obstacle in front of her, she will find a way to surpass that obstacle and excel. She is very down to earth and has a big heart,” her nomination form said. ”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Nancy Cantu

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Nancy Cantu! Nancy Cantu is a teacher in Kyle, Texas. She is an inspiring person and carries her inspiring nature throughout her life. “She is a role model that inspires me to be a better person,” her nomination form said. “She is a champion because she is a great mother, friend, and person.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Jonathan Lopez

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Jonathan Lopez! Jonathan Lopez is a student in Kyle, Texas. He is a member of the Kyle Area Youth Advisory Council (KAYAC). “This young man has been there for me since elementary school and has always been very supportive to me and everyone else,” his nomination form said. “Everyone will be able to have hope for the future of our world knowing good people still exist like my best friend.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

New Data on National Graduation Rates Point to Need for Community-based Solutions to Dropout Crisis

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New data on high school graduation rates released today by the U.S. Department of Education underscore the continued need for innovative, community-based solutions highlighted by American Graduate, a local/national public media initiative focused on improving high school graduation rates.

The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics today showed that the graduation rate for the nation’s class of 2014 reached a record high 82 percent, an increase of 1 percentage point from the class of 2013’s graduation rate.

Graduation rates for several student demographics rose as well from the class of 2013 to the class of 2014, except for American Indian and Alaskan Native students, for whom rates remained virtually flat. But significant gaps remain, particularly between white students and their black and Hispanic counterparts, and economically disadvantaged students.TX-Austin-Round Rock_2015

American Graduate, public media’s long-term commitment to supporting community-based solutions to improving high school graduation rates, funded in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, has been showcasing ways in which communities can prepare more youth for success in the 21st century workplace since 2009. Learn more about KLRU’s American Graduate work including sharing stories of local educational champions making a difference in our community at klru.org/americangraduate.

American Graduate Champion: Maria Nesloney

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Maria Nesloney! Maria Nesloney is a Language Arts teacher in Rockport, Texas. She is a helpful teacher with good advice. “She was always my go to listener. She gives the best advice. Without having met her, my life would be completely different. I am happy to have met her,” her nomination form said.

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Jacob Aguirre

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Jacob Aguirre! Jacob Aguirre is a student in Kyle, Texas at a Hays County Independent School District school. “They work hard,” his nomination form said. “Others need to work hard too.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Tracy Niemann

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Tracy Niemann! Tracy Niemann is a stay-at-home mom in Kyle, Texas. She is a hard worker dedicated to her family. “She is a dedicated and determined woman who has always put her family before herself in times of either financial or educational issues,” her nomination form said. “Her story is one of a common woman and how despite the thousands of challenges that have confronted her she’s always managed to overcome them.”

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.

American Graduate Champion: Kaelynn Bowers

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KLRU shares the inspiring stories of the people that are making our community a success! As part of our American Graduate initiative, we’re honoring American Graduate Champions that have been submitted by the community.

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Today’s champion is Kaelynn Bowers! Kaelynn Bowers is a student in Buda, Texas. She is good with kids and strives to inspire her sisters. “She is a strong individual that can push through any situation she is put through and inspires others and sets good examples for her little sisters,” her nomination form said.

Do you know someone in our community who is working to improve high school success for students throughout Central Texas? Recognize them as an American Graduate Champion! American Graduate Champions can be students who work as mentors, business leaders who serve as role models, school officials making changes to better the system, parent activists, and even struggling students who are overcoming obstacles in order to graduate.