New Mexico counselor's mistake means girl can't graduate

Published  7:58 AM HST May 14, 2013
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -

An Albuquerque Public School counselor admitted to a major mistake that’s going to cause one high school senior to miss the biggest milestone of her life so far.

Volcano Vista High School’s Class of 2013 will graduate at Tingley Coliseum on Tuesday afternoon, but student Arlene Herrmann cannot be part of it because she is half a credit short. Herrmann didn’t know the issue didn’t know about it until last Wednesday.

“I passed all my classes. I got my finals passed, and now the hard work was just a waste,” Herrmann said.

During her senior year at Volcano Vista High School, Herrmann maintained good grades but the school wouldn’t let her pick up her cap and gown because she is a half credit short of graduation.

Her grandmother, Ramona Meneses, cannot stop crying. She’s been her guardian ever since Herrmann’s mother died 12 years ago. She wanted Herrmann’s senior year to be special.

“She worked very hard this last year getting her grades up and maintaining them,” Meneses said.

Meneses thought everything was on track until last Wednesday, when her granddaughter's counselor called her with the bad news.

“I said, ‘We went to you and we talked to you, and you assured me she would be graduating and now you're telling me this?’” Meneses said.

She said the school counselor told her at the end of the first semester that Herrmann would graduate. Meneses said he apologized for his mistake, but the district still said Herrmann still cannot walk at graduation.

Click to Vote: Should APS allow Arlene Herrmann to walk at graduation?

“You teach your kids to be responsible, to do the right things and what do they do? No, this is not right,” Meneses said.

School officials said the class Herrmann needs to take is Spanish. Herrmann is already bilingual.

A spokesperson for Albuquerque Public Schools had no answer on why the counselor miscalculated her credits.

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