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NU girl overcomes failure to graduate

Connie Reisenweber
Special to the Union

A month ago, my daughter was told it was not possible for her to graduate.

Looking at the huge shortage of credits my daughter needed, in addition to her being on the verge of failing several of the classes she was already enrolled in, I had to agree. I thought it would be better if she were held back a year.

But at Nevada Union High School, an administrator told me, they don’t do that anymore. Our options were to finish her education in summer school and adult school or pass the GED test.



Neither would allow her to walk with her Nevada Union High graduating class of 2008.

Marianne was devastated. She had been taking two classes at Sierra College to make up some of the credit shortages, and she had just dropped one of them, so it was looking less and less likely.




We went to see her NU counselor, Mary Tassone.

Mary was positive and supportive and never gave up on Marianne. She laid out a new plan that would allow Marianne to graduate on time.

“You have to pass all of your classes this semester here at NU,” she said, as though she didn’t expect that to be a problem. “And to make up for that class you dropped at Sierra College, you will need to add an extra Earth Science course at Sierra Mountain Independent Study School.

O.K., we could do that.

“And, you will need to do well on your senior project.”

That was going to be a push.

“And you will need to complete the four books of math and pass the finals on those at Sierra Mountain.”

Marianne burst into tears. She was failing her math class at NU, and it had taken her four months to get through the first math book at Sierra. She was failing government as well.

But Mary Tassone ordered her diploma as if she were sure Marianne could perform these feats.

Marianne was about to learn a more valuable lesson that she ever could have gotten out of a book.

Marianne completed her class at Sierra College and got busy studying at Sierra Mountain and NU. She spent weekends alternating between her senior project and working in her math books, and passed her senior project two weeks ago.

She juggled the weekdays alternating between NU and Sierra Mountain, finishing her Earth Science class and freeing her up for math.

At Sierra Mountain, she studied daily with Marilyn Bergen. Marilyn helped Marianne to make sense of the variables and formulas.

She passed Book 6 nearly three weeks ago, with Books 7, 8, and 9 left to go.

After Sierra Mountain, Marianne received math tutoring until late. She passed book after book, studying over the Memorial Day weekend.

With graduation a week away, she was starting to wear thin, and was further discouraged when she failed her math test at NU.

We were down to a week. Marianne would work until she cried, wash her face, get up and work some more. She started communicating with her NU teachers and studied for, retook and passed her failed tests there.

Marianne passed her last math book final last Tuesday, three days before graduation.

Thank you Mary Tassone (NU counselor), Addie Bright (this year’s salutatorian at NU) and Marilyn Bergen (Sierra Mountain tutor) for your support, encouragement and guidance.

Marianne Reisenweber proudly announces her participation with the 46th graduating class of Nevada Union High School of 2008.


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