Surrounded by family, friends, peers and educational mentors, Nina Poznanski shed tears of joy as she was honored for her academic and personal achievements during a high school graduation ceremony at Valley Center School (VCS) on Friday, May 31.
During the ceremony, Kalamazoo RESA Valley Center School Principal Mary Pickett attributed much of Poznanski’s academic success to her commitment to practice. Even at a young age Poznanski was described as being “always very eager to learn. Loved sharing the things she learned and loved being a good student.”
Mrs. Pickett spoke of the lessons to be found in a favorite book from Poznanski’s childhood, “Nina, Nina Ballerina” by Jane O’Connor. A story about a young girl who is preparing for a dance recital, Nina has an accident the night before the recital. Through determination and practice, she manages to turn her accident into an opportunity.
“It’s been neat to get to know you and your family. It’s helped me remember that you practice everywhere. You practice these things everywhere you go, and it’s made you successful,” said a tearful Mrs. Pickett. “It’s got you where you wanted to go. You’re graduating today and it’s because you practiced.”
In addition to her diplomas from VCS and Portage Public Schools, Poznanski also received awards for the All-A Honor Roll, High Honors in English, the Customized Principal Award, as well as the 5 Expectations Award for being Respectful and for Managing Feelings.