Senior receives diploma during board meeting

Ofelia Garcia Hunter, The Premont Journal

Juan Jesus Lopez didn't give up, and on Monday he received his diploma as part of the graduating Class of 2007.

"All of them kept pushing me," said Juan of his family and faculty members at Premont High School. "(My mother) kept pushing me and all my aunts and uncles."

Juan in his red cap and gown accepted his diploma Monday evening from interium superintendent Dr. Leobardo Cano at the school board meeting. The board took a recess to celebrate with cake and punch.

"It's a big relief," he said after receiving his high school diploma.

Juan said that he needed to pass the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills exam to graduate.

He retook the test in October. This month he was called to the principal's office and he wasn't sure what to expect.

"I knew it was bad news," he said. "Then she said 'you passed,' thank God."

One of the first things Juan did was call his mother, Rosa Platas, with the good news.

"We are very happy," Platas said. "I would like to thank everyone along with the board members and the principal."

Premont High School Principal Irma Johnson got choked up as she congratulated Juan.

"I hope that other students see that you never gave up," she said. "I admire you for not giving up."

Juan said he is taking each day at a time, but can now see a future.

"College down the line," he said.