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Record Number: 3935
Displayed from: Mar 12, 2008 , until: Mar 31, 2008
Thirty years after his peers graduated from Northrop High School, Dana Blackhurst will join their ranks as a member of the graduating class of 1978. Blackhurst has become a well-known expert on dyslexia over the last three decades, but his success hasn't stopped him from seeking the one credential he didn't have: His high school diploma. Blackhurst's severe dyslexia made school difficult for him. The frustrating struggle of his coursework and trying to keep up with his peers drove him to drop out of school. But that didn't stop his education. He received his GED and went on to study at Erskine College in Due West, S.C. Blackhurst graduated from college in 1983 and became a teacher. He went on to win numerous educational honors, including the Educator Award from the Carolina Branch of the International Dyslexia Association, South Carolina Middle School Teacher of the Year, runner-up for the P. Buckley Moss Teacher Award for national outstanding educator in learning disabilities and a Congressional proclamation as "Outstanding Educator" in South Carolina. Blackhurst also has served on the International Dyslexia Association Board, the South Carolina-based Child's Haven Board and the board of directors for the Andre Agassi Preparatory Charter School. He is now the principal of Pine Ridge School in Williston, Vt. Blackhurst will be presented his diploma at 1:30 p.m. Friday, March 14, before an audience of Northrop students. He will then talk to the students about the importance of staying in school, graduating from high school and working hard to succeed. Media are invited to attend the event at Northrop High School, 7001 Coldwater Road.

With nearly 30,000 students, Fort Wayne Community Schools is one of the largest school districts in Indiana. FWCS proudly allows families to choose any of its 50 schools through its successful school-choice program creating diversity in each school, including some with more than 75 languages spoken. FWCS offers seven magnet schools focusing on areas such as science and math, communication, fine arts or Montessori at the elementary and middle school level. In high school, students can choose from the prestigious International Baccalaureate program, Project Lead the Way or New Tech Academy as well as other rigorous academic and specialty training programs.