Umatilla High senior told she needs to take more classes after graduating

'I was happy that I finally made it,' student tells News 6

By Matt Petrillo - Reporter

UMATILLA, Fla. - She just graduated-- or so she thought. 

Alexis Darrin, who went to Umatilla High School in Lake County, said her school told her yesterday her diploma basically means nothing.

Last week was one of the proudest moments of her life. She walked in her graduation ceremony and was excited about the new chapter ahead.

"I was happy that I finally made it and all my hard work had paid off," she said.

Darrin scored high grades and completed all her homework during her senior year. But she now thinks school leaders dropped the ball on their homework.

"I was upset and mad at the same time!," she said.

Darrin was taking a class earlier this year when, in March, she was told she had to take a different course in order to graduate. So she buckled down to complete all her work in just a few months. Then, yesterday, days after her graduation, her mother got a call saying there were two other classes Alexis had to take before actually graduating, and two of the classes she had taken under the advisement of her guidance counselor were just electives.

"I was mad because she had told me three or four times that credit counted," she said.

Alexis' mother said the school principal apologized, saying the guidance counselor was new. But not only is her daughter's high school graduation now marred, her daughter was supposed to start trade school at the end of the month, something she wanted to do before starting college. Now, that's all in limbo.

"It's delaying her life, really, if you think about it. She wants to get this done so she can start college," her mother, Melissa, said

Even though Alexis did everything she could have done, she's looking at her situation with her school as a teachable moment to others.

"Make sure you check multiple times and make sure you have what you need to graduate," she said.

The Lake County School District could not comment on this specific case because of privacy laws but a spokeswoman said the district constantly reviews transcripts, and sometimes finds errors. When that happens, the district works with students to try to correct the situation.

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