Local News

May 27, 2013

Seniors overcome obstacles to graduate

Stress, becoming a mother didn’t stop Carroll students from getting diplomas.

Around Thanksgiving break of her junior year, Courtney Benefiel, who is now a senior at Carroll Jr.-Sr. High School, started to feel stressed by the pressure of her schoolwork.

After missing 14 school days between late November and early December, she knew she had to make up the work she missed.

“I started to feel a tremendous amount of stress and felt depressed,” Benefiel said. “It was a low period.”

During a two-week period before Christmas break, Benefiel made up all homework she missed.

And now, Benefiel is happy to report she’ll graduate on June 2.

It wasn’t an easy process to get here, she said. To get out from under the stress she felt, Benefiel worked to rearrange her classes and changed her schedule to make sure what was making her anxious was taken out of the equation. She also had support from her mother and Kris Seward, guidance director at Carroll High School.

“I knew from that experience I never wanted to do that again,” Benefiel said. “It’s hard to come back from that.”

Seward said Benefiel is a perfectionist and they worked to take that stress away.

“If you look at her writing or anything she does, you can tell she is a perfectionist,” Seward said. “There are a lot of people out there who do this and go through this. We worked through the stress she had and how to handle it.”

Another senior who has had a bumpy road to reaching the graduation stage is Jasmine McPeters. After she became pregnant her junior year, she nearly dropped out. But with help from her church, New Hope Community Church — where fellow members agreed to watch her daughter, Madalyn Leeanne Hicks — McPeters returned to finish school.

“I cry for a minute every time I think about it because I’m so happy I can still graduate,” McPeters said.

Sleep eludes McPeters often, but she now has a new perspective on high school.

“The experience has made me appreciate school more,” McPeters said. “I’ve received so much support from my teachers, friends and family.”

Like Seward, McPeters says the support of family and friends was vital to her being able to graduate.

“I would tell someone going through a similar situation that you have friends and family who will help you,” McPeters said. “Going to church also helps.”

As for advice from Benefiel, she would tell people not to let stress consume them.

“Try not to let stress influence you so much that it makes it hard to recover,” Benefiel said. “Don’t get bogged down on the details. It will be fine.”

After graduating, McPeters is considering attending an art institute or looking into radiology. Benefiel will be going to Purdue University to study psychology or agri-business management.

Seward said students like Benefiel and McPeters reaffirm the work the school faculty is doing.

“This is why we’re here,” Seward said. “Even with supportive families, all students need additional guidance. It’s the best feeling to help, and it lets you know and verifies why you’re here.”

Amie Sites is a community news editor at the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at 574-732—5150 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • UPDATED: Logansport HS teacher arrested on child seduction charge

    A Logansport High School teacher was arrested Thursday on a charge of child seduction.

    April 18, 2014

  • Police blotter: April 18, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 18, 2014

  • NWS-PT041814 LC50 cords.jpg 50 years later WALTON -- Dean "D.A." Zehring graduated from the current Lewis Cass High School, but he never attended classes there. It's one of the unique characteristics of the graduating class of 1968, the first class to complete all four years of high school un

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Caston considers Logan bus stop FULTON -- Caston Schools administrators are considering establishing a bus stop a few miles outside its boundaries on the north side of Logansport. The school board recently discussed the feasibility of adding a bus stop for students transferring fro

    April 18, 2014

  • mushroom Parks let mushroom hunters forage off-trail INDIANAPOLIS - Rain that pounded Brown County State Park in early April dampened the number of hikers and mountain bikers in Indiana's largest state park, but foragers of the property's 15,000 acres of forest welcomed the weather. With the arrival o

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Police blotter: April 17, 2014 Have a tip? Anyone with information on a crime is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS. Information leading to an arrest or conviction could lead to a reward of up to $1,000.

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 G.jpg Sign of support: Class meant to connect hearing-impaired family members Jordanna Dishner-Rush gestured forcefully to a coat rack hanging in the back of the meeting room at the Logansport Library. She was trying to use just hand motions — no speech — to get the other women to guess the secret word she'd been given. Dishne

    April 17, 2014 12 Photos

  • Logansport graduation rate rises again Logansport High School's graduation rate jumped almost 2 percentage points to 92.9 percent in 2013, data released Wednesday show. The Indiana Department of Education released graduation data for the 2012-2013 school year Wednesday. The data show that

    April 17, 2014

  • NWS-PT041714 Mustangs.jpg Local dealer celebrates the Mustang Fifty years ago today, the Ford Mustang was introduced to the public at the New York World's Fair. Now, six of them will be on display for the next few weeks at Rick's Auto Sales in Logansport celebrating what the business owner says is a half centur

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Redevelopment commission proposes new TIF expansion The Logansport Redevelopment Commission is now considering including land surrounding Water Street in a proposed consolidation of the city's tax increment financing districts. A tax increment financing, or TIF, district, captures the increments of an

    April 17, 2014

Featured Ads
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.

Should mushroom hunters be allowed to forage off-trail in Indiana state parks?

     View Results