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New caps, gowns, diplomas and a baby

Posted: June 4, 2008 1:55 a.m.
Updated: August 5, 2008 5:02 a.m.

Two Newhall residents managed to complete their high school degrees this spring while welcoming a new baby into the family.

Nathan and Hilary Davis, both 19, welcomed baby Elijah on March 1, right when both were in the middle of trying to wrap up the last few credits they needed to graduate at Golden Oak Adult School.

"It was really hard," Hilary said of balancing books and a baby. "I missed a month (of school), and it put me behind a little bit, but I still made it in time to graduate."

Hilary will graduate with a high school diploma and Nathan qualified for his G.E.D. (General Education Development) diploma by taking classes at Golden Oak in between taking turns caring for their newborn. While both qualified to go through Golden Oak's graduation ceremony Wednesday evening at the Hart High School auditorium, Nathan has opted to sit in the audience holding Elijah while Hilary walks across the stage.

Having seen a lot of pregnant students leave to have a baby and never return, Golden Oak Principal Linda Rick wasn't sure if she would see Hilary back at school after the birth.

"I really didn't know if she would come back, so I was pleased when I saw her," Rick said. "She stuck to her plan."

Rick described the couple as "delightful to be around" and said the entire staff at Golden Oak was impressed with their tenacity.

"Given that she was pregnant and she was trying to get her diploma, their tenacity really impressed us," Rick said. "They just stayed organized, and they got it done."

Hilary would sometimes go to class after being up all night caring for Elijah.

"We were both studying and trying to take care of the baby at the same time," Hilary said. "But we were determined to get it done."

Elijah did his part to help out by being a good baby who seldom cries.

"He's a good baby - he doesn't really cry a lot. He's really mellow," Hilary said.

With the graduation deadline closing in, Nathan, who finished his coursework in April, took over the night shift with Elijah - despite having a job during the day - and Hilary's parents watched Elijah while she went to class.

"I'm just happy to be able to graduate now," Hilary said. "I feel very excited."

Nathan and Hilary were very motivated to get their degrees, because they wanted to set a good example for their new son.

"I wanted to set an example for Elijah and make him proud someday," Hilary said. "When he gets older, and we tell him what we went through to graduate, I really think he'll be proud."


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