Exchange student campaigns to graduate from PISD

As the 2020-21 school year draws to a close, a foreign ex­change student is fighting for something really important to her – the right to walk the stage at graduation.

In a school year defined by tough challenges, including the pandemic and the Febru­ary winter storm, Princeton ISD was presented an unusual proposal during their regular school board meeting May 17.

Along with host parent and Princeton alumna Tiffany Barnfield, Belgian exchange student Mia Debaisiux went before the school board to cam­paign for the right to walk at graduation, despite not earning a diploma from Princeton High School.

Cited as the first case of a foreign student in Princeton having graduated in her home country, Barnfield said that Mia worked hard for the right to walk at graduation and the school board should heavily consider this case.

“Mia’s in a unique situa­tion,” Barnfield said. “She’s an exchange student from Bel­gium who finished her senior year there but did not receive a diploma because of COVID. She didn’t get to participate in any form of graduation, so when she came to the U.S. to finish out the year, she asked if she could participate in our graduation. We started asking [PHS principal Clint] Sadler to see how we can make that possible and if it’s a feasible task. After he spoke with [PISD superintendent Donald] McIntyre, I spoke with [board trustee Cyndi] Darland, who asked us to put it on the agenda so that it could be discussed.”

For the full story, see the May 20 issue or subscribe online.

By Jackson King [email protected]

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