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Annual event recognizes students who excelled in and out of classroom

Thursday morning, Buncombe County students were recognized for their hard work in and out of the classroom in the 16th annual Exceptional Children's Graduation Celebration. (Photo credit: WLOS staff)

Thursday morning, Buncombe County students were recognized for their hard work in and out of the classroom in the 16th annual Exceptional Children's Graduation Celebration.

Some 352 Buncombe County seniors took part in the ceremony for students who are graduating through the Occupational Course of Study program. They're required to earn 600 hours of employment training as well as meet the academic standards to receive a high school diploma.

"It makes me happy that I get to show people what I like and what I want to do after high school. And I just love working with kids. And, yes, it makes me happy," said Jacqelyn Nunez, another senior project winner.

Langdon Stepp, who worked 3,000 hours, said he knows the importance of being dependable.

"It's when you don't have people and you want to step up and stay over for a shift you want to work for and you know you're going to do a good job. They want somebody they can count on, and that's what a manager looks for in their employment line," said Stepp, who was also a senior project winner.

After the ceremony, there was plenty of food for everyone to enjoy.

The next step for these students is to participate in their respective schools' graduation ceremonies.

Thursday's celebration could not have happened without some great sponsors. Fun Depot, Mission Hospital and Champion Credit Union were this year's big donors.

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