First Graduating Class Of New Tech Academy Ready For Real World (VIDEO)

By Stephanie Parkinson

June 7, 2013 Updated Jun 7, 2013 at 5:11 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) -- The first graduating class of New Tech Academy is ready for the real world.

Fort Wayne's New Tech Academy is a high school focused on project based, hands-on learning. It's a new concept Fort Wayne Community Schools embraced in 2009, and now they're celebrating their first graduates, who left school for the last time Friday.

It was a day filled with excitement but it was also very emotional.

“We are such a strong class, and we have bonds that will never be broken," New Tech Academy senior, Mary Cerajewski said.

Next weekend, 79 of the 80 seniors will get their diplomas. They're the first group of students to graduate from FWCS’ New Tech Academy.

"It's hard today to say goodbye to kids that you have built a school with, that you've built as program with, a way of life with." Liz Bryan, director of New Tech Academy, said.

The last day of school at New Tech became even more special for senior Tyler Neaville, because it was also the day he found out he was getting his diploma.

"When I went to the teacher to find out if i would be passing that class or not, once he said yes I jumped out of my seat and ran back here and hugged Ms. Bryan and thanked her for everything," Neaville told 21Alive.

"To watch them fight for that at the very end has been just amazing," Bryan said.

The graduating seniors say New Tech has given them far more than a traditional school, and say they feel better prepared for the real world.

"Wow, New Tech has done wonders for me. They've taught me how to communicate with people, how to work with my peers, collaboration, how to dress professionally, how to talk to people when I'm not agreeing with them," Cerajewski said.

"That's what it's all about, is seeing these kids grow and really mature into adults," Riley Johnson, a teacher at New Tech, said.

Next Saturday the entire class will walk together at the formal graduation.

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