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2008 Graduate – Jacob Ditto

Jacob DittoMarshall is one of the most beautiful cities in Michigan. It’s also a storehouse of 19th century American small town architecture that has given it status as a National Historic Landmark District.

The designation was announced July 17, 1991 by the National Park Service and the U.S. Department of the Interior. The district includes over 850 homes and businesses.

Established in 1830, the early settlers expected the community to become Michigan’s state capitol. Thus it drew dozens of doctors, lawyers, ministers, business people and land speculators.

Marshall was nominated as the state capitol in 1839 but lost to Lansing, then a village of eight registered voters, in 1847. However, at this point Marshall had become the switching center for the young Michigan Central Railroad which kept it booming and growing during the Civil War era.

During the 19th century the small city was touched lightly by U.S. history in three areas: education, abolition, and unionism.
Two Marshall citizens, Rev. John D. Pierce and lawyer Issac E. Crary, innovated the Michigan school system and established it as part of the state constitution.

Marshall was a station on the Underground Railroad and a strong anti-slavery town.

The third touch of U.S. history was the founding of a union called the Brotherhood of the Footboard in 1863. A few months later the members realized that most people didn’t know what a footboard was, so they changed the name of the union to the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers, still one of the country’s strongest railroad unions.

Moving into the 20th century, Marshall has been home to people who understood the importance of preservation and restoration long before it was popular. This has allowed Marshall to move with the future while maintaining its wonderful past.
And, Speaking of moving with the future, please meet Mr. Jacob Ditto.

Jacob graduated from Citizens’ High School a year ago this June. He needed a half his Junior and all his Senior year to finish the requirements for a diploma. The problem was “I was attending Marshal High. The class size was huge and individual attention was non-existent.”

With the loving support of his parents, Jacob decided to “home school” himself. Jacob researched schools and discovered that Citizens’ was a good fit. Jacob was able to complete a year and a half’s curriculum in only six months. It’s amazing what one can do from the kitchen table.

Jacob’s ultimate desire was to join the US Army. As you can see by the picture he accomplished that goal. The Military used to not accept home schoolers and home school curriculums. All of that has changed. The Military has come to realize along with colleges that, home schoolers are smart, disciplined, and dedicated to a cause.

We at Citizens’ High School are very proud of Jacob. Not only did he find a solution to an ever deteriorating public school system, he demonstrated great sacrifice to achieve that solution. We are also exceedingly proud of Jacob for serving in the Army. We are acutely aware of the sacrifice he may be called on to make for all of us.

Jacob, because of your dedication and sacrifice, you are Citizens’ High School June 2008 graduate of the Month.

Jacob Ditto is Citizens’ High School
“Graduate of the Month” for June 2008.