by Nathan Baca/ABC7
RIVERDALE, Md. (ABC7) — Twenty-six-year-old Angelo Collington just can’t get over his high school years for an unusual reason.
Collington has an entry level job at an Alexandria political firm. He’s taking college classes with an eye on a psychology degree. His high school says he never earned his diploma.
“I was told I didn’t graduate,” said Collington.
When the University of Maryland asked Collington for high school transcripts to finish up his degree, Parkdale High in Prince George’s County and the county’s public school system said it had no record of Collington graduating.
“I have letter showing that I graduated. I have a diploma,” Collington said.
Collington didn’t graduate with the rest of his class. He had to take a required exam a semester after his friends received their diplomas. When Prince George’s County Public Schools claimed Collington never graduated, Collington’s family dug up his old records, even a 2009 letter from his former principal.
“Attached you will find the official transcript, to date, which shows Angelo has completed his school requirements. Signed by David Burton, principal,” said Collington, reading aloud the letter he received several years ago.
Collington even possessed a sealed and stamped transcript received in 2010 he was afraid to open out of concern it would be invalidated without the proper witnessing and certification.
Prince George’s County school board member Edward Burroughs III says that despite Collington’s case sounding unique, he’s not the only former student with problems proving they graduated. Burroughs wants to know exactly how many are affected.
“Sadly, I get this quite often, where students, or former students of the school system contact me and let me know, they go to the transcript office, diploma in hand, and they’re told they did not actually meet the requirements for graduation,” Burroughs said.
After the ABC7 I-Team asked for answers, Prince George’s County Public Schools did some digging and finally found Collington’s official transcript. A schools spokesperson said, “We definitely have some bookkeeping issues to fix,” pointing out problems with transitioning from paper to digital records after the 2009-2010 school year.
The transcripts, examined by the ABC7 I-Team and confirmed by the school district, declare Collington a graduate. However, they do list Collington not meeting the test results required to graduate.
PGCPS said the discrepancy stating that they could never find evidence Collington ever passed the test despite Collington’s diploma and signed letter from the principal at the time stating he had indeed passed the required test. Collington is concerned that mark on his transcript could continue to raise questions in university and employment queries.
Prince George’s County Public Schools says determining how many record keeping errors exist is part of its ongoing systemwide audit.