Graduation Coaches

Elliott Walker is no stranger to coaching. He's spent his fair share of time on the sidelines as Head Football Coach at Mitchell Baker High School. Now Walker is facing a whole new game, a first for every school in the Peach State.

Walker said, "We need to take individual students and see what they need to graduate from high school no matter what grade, what level, what social background. No matter what, we got to be ready to get dirty."

Getting down and dirty on a different kind of playing field, Walker is a graduation coach at Cairo High School. With these coaches now in place, schools are hoping to have less kids wandering the hallways and more crossing the stage to get their diplomas.

Georgia's General Assembly approved the position earlier this year, and some students say it's about time.

Lindsay Lunday, a junior at Cairo High School, said, "I'm glad that the state is starting to take a closer look at the dropout rate and you know, trying to get something to try and get us to stay in school, because it's getting pretty bad with people dropping out."

Walker added, "They want some nurturing, they want somebody to aim them in the right direction, and that's kind of what this graduation coach is going to do."

Now dawning a new uniform, Coach Walker will guide students towards the ultimate championship, a high school diploma.

Walker is just returning from Atlanta where the governor and state superintendent held a meeting for hundreds of new graduation coaches to discuss plans for the year.