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Published May 22, 2012, 05:55 PM

First Students in Joint Program With DLHS, School for the Deaf Graduate

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Students across the country are preparing to walk across the stage to cheers as they collect their high school diploma.

By: Adam Ladwig, WDAZ

DEVILS LAKE, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Students across the country are preparing to walk across the stage to cheers as they collect their high school diploma.

Three Lake Region students have worked harder than most to earn those cheers, even though they won't be able to hear them.

Those three students are the first to graduate from Devils Lake High School under a joint program with the North Dakota School for the Deaf.

Graduating high school is an important milestone.

"I am so excited. I can't wait till it's done and then have summer vacation so I can take a break. I'm so exhausted," senior Bryce Lindgren said.

Lindgren says help he received from the North Dakota School for the Deaf helped him reach that milestone.

"I'm really thankful for them helping me, to help me understand clearer, because language barrier, and now it's easier," Lindgren said.

He's one of the first three students to graduate under a program that lets deaf students study at Devils Lake High School. The School for the Deaf provides interpreters and other resources for deaf students.

"Their programs are developed for them based on their individualized need. I see it as very positive," School for the Deaf Superintendent Carmen Grove Suminski said.

The program started two years ago when the School for the Deaf stopped offering high school classes. But students say they enjoyed going to school with their peers.

"It was a lot of fun being able to socialize with people and just make really great memories," senior Collin Pripula said.

Even though they had help, School for the Deaf Superintendent Carmen Grove Suminski says the students couldn't have accomplished so much without hard work of their own.

"They've all done a super job. They've done well academically. They have strived to do their best," Grove Suminski said.

The School for the Deaf stopped offering high school classes because it was easier to focus on deaf education and leave the academics to the high school.

The school worked with eight students this year and will enroll at least two more as freshmen next year.

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