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Contributed photo / Head of School Josh Yother is speaking to the class at their private graduation ceremony on Aug. 1.

The members of Skyuka Hall's first graduating class in the school's history have all been accepted to the colleges of their choice. The graduating class at Skyuka, which specializes in teaching students with learning differences, was comprised of seven seniors.

The private school marked the occasion this month with an outdoor ceremony at Ridgedale Baptist Church.

Skyuka Hall conducted online learning the last several weeks of the 2019-2020 school year because of COVID-19.

One of the seven seniors is Dallon Crane, who will be attending Chattanooga State Community College in the fall. He described his senior year as "awesome" after getting used to the new normal of learning due to the pandemic.

"I'm not gonna lie, it was really hard at first but that didn't stop us from getting anything done and after a week or two it felt like it always has been," said Crane, an avid boxer.

Macey Moore, a Skyuka Hall graduate, said her experience "gave me the courage and confidence to pursue my dreams, beginning with attending college."

"At Skyuka Hall, I was never just a body in a classroom or name at the top of an assignment. My growth was a priority and my wins were shared with my teachers, Dr. [Josh] Yother and classmates," said the incoming freshman at Tennessee Wesleyan University.

Lynne Forato, the school's marketing director, said parents' feedback on the way the school responded to the pandemic was an indication of success.

"Moving into this next year, our families will have the opportunity to choose between an online learning platform or on-campus learning," Forato said.

Head of School Josh Yother said in a news release that he is "in awe of our seniors who will soon change the world."

"In the midst of a pandemic that changed the trajectory of their senior year, our graduating class has shown us grit, resilience and heart," he said. "It has been a tremendous opportunity to be part of their academic journey at Skyuka Hall. They have inspired not only younger students, but our staff and families to dream bigger."

Skyuka Hall was founded in 2014 to provide individualized teaching and learning experiences for students who may have struggled in a typical learning environment. The K-12 school serves students with average to superior abilities who have been diagnosed with learning differences including dyslexia, dysgraphia, and/or Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

Contact Monique Brand at mbrand@timesfreepress.com.

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