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After a rough start Greenhalgh graduates from Maidu

Student succeeds after overcoming difficulties in his high school experience
By: Kylea Scott Journal Correspondent
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After a tough start to his high school career, Brandon Greenhalgh has found success as he received his diploma from Maidu High School in Auburn Thursday. According to Valarie Lucas, teacher/advisor, Maidu is an independent study school available for students whose outside interests, difficulty with social issues, pregnancy, illness, excessive travel, or disabilities interfere with their education at a traditional high school. Lucas said Maidu students are able to work at their own pace, spend one-on-one time with instructors, and work in small group classes. The graduation requirements are generally the same as those of a traditional high school, although Maidu requires less elective courses, according to Lucas. Greenhalgh transferred to Maidu after having a rough freshman year at Placer High School. Pollyanna Redman, Greeenhalgh?s first teacher at Maidu, said that when he first started, he was really shy and self-conscious. Redman and Lucas both agreed that Greenhalgh has had so much growth since he?s been attending Maidu. In his freshman year at Placer, Greenhalgh experienced issues with bullying. He said it made him feel awful, depressed and lonely. ?Every day after school I would just come home and go to sleep. I was so tired and fed up,? Greenhalgh said. After his challenging freshmen year, Greenhalgh transferred to Maidu as a sophomore, and that?s when things began to improve, according to his mother Debie Greenhalgh. ?His grades started improving, he became more self-motivating, and he started making friends,? she said. Valarie Lucas, Greenhalgh?s current teacher/advisor, said that he has been involved in a lot of leadership activities at Maidu, including community service and party planning; he is much more open and social. ?I?ve watched him blossom? Lucas said. Greenhalgh is the youngest of three brothers. ?It?s nice, but it?s tough being the youngest? he said. His oldest brother suffers from a learning disability that has been hard on the whole family. ?He always wants to know what I?m doing? Greenhalgh said. Greenhalgh said he enjoys fishing, playing video games, hanging out with his friends, and drawing comics based on his life experiences. Debie Greenhalgh said she is very proud that her son is graduating. ?I?m feeling relieved, proud, and happy that he?s had a good experience,? she said. In his time at Maidu, Greenhalgh has been nominated for four scholarships, awarded a Youth Making a Difference award from the Auburn Community Hip-Hop Congress, as well as a certificate of recognition from Students in Action. Greenhalgh is enrolled for classes at Sierra College next fall. He plans on getting an associates degree and he is also considering attending the Art Institute.