Amanda Tecson, 18, of Mesa got a happy surprise Wednesday about one hour before her high school graduation.
Mountain View High School principal Craig Luketich called Tecson at her home and told her the school added her name at the last hour to its list of honors graduates.
When Tecson arrived on campus minutes later, Luketich found her and gave her a gold tassel for her cap signifying the accomplishment.
“I was pretty shocked and happy,” Tecson said Thursday. “If you fight for something you believe in, it can come true.”
For three years, Tecson worked steadily to overcome poor grades from her freshman year.
Her goal was to graduate with a grade point average above 3.50 — the cutoff for honors recognition.
In December, Tecson found herself shy of the mark with a 3.49 GPA.
Although she had enough credits to graduate in December, Tecson decided to take five classes her final semester for the sole purpose of earning a gold tassel.
Although she passed the 3.50 GPA milestone, the school told her last week it already had finalized its list of honors graduates in December, and nothing she did in the final semester counted.
Tecson petitioned the school for an exception — and Wednesday, the school agreed.
“Information from sources other than school officials led to her assumption that the grades earned during the spring semester would be used to determine who wears the honors tassel at the graduation ceremony,” Luketich said in a statement. “Acting on this misinformation, she remained in school and raised her GPA. Recognizing this effort, Mountain View gave her a gold tassel.”
“Everyone was excited, and everyone was cheering for her,” said her brother, Kevin Eckman, 20.