Bartlett student makes history at graduation

BARTLETT, Tenn. - - A Bartlett High School student is making history.

He has Down Syndrome and is going to be the first such student in school history to graduate with a general education diploma instead of a special education one.

His name is Ben Halvorson, and he's conquered the same curriculum your typical high school student goes through.

"I'm just so proud of myself," Halvorson said.

Halvorson got through classes like chemistry, history, and his least favorite, a class most of us hated, math.

His mom, dad, and sister are incredibly proud.

"We just had high expectation and a lot of support along the way that made it possible, his mom Becky Halvorson said, "He has succeeded at every step."

Cousin and classmate Will Jaggers said Ben is quite the comedian.

"Ask anybody he knows and he'll make them laugh no problem," Jaggers said.

Jaggers said it's like the Down Syndrome doesn't exist.

"All his teachers seem to love him and he does really well in all of his classes," Jaggers said, "(He's) just another student. Nothing seems out of the ordinary when you're near him."

"It's a crazy accomplishment that he's able to do and I'm very happy that he's able to do it and where he's going with his life," Jaggers said.

Ben is excited for college. He starts at Mississippi State this summer, and like a lot of incoming freshmen, he doesn't know what he wants to major in yet.

The graduation is at Bellevue Baptist Church at 7 pm.

WREG also has a special connection to Ben. He happens to be weatherman Jim Jaggers' nephew. Jim is a very proud uncle!