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Area schools prepare for weekend graduation events

May 18, 2012

West Oktibbeha High

By MATT CRANE
sdnlife@bellsouth.net

West Oktibbeha County High School will hold its graduation ceremony tomorrow at 11 a.m. in the school’s gymnasium.

This year the high school will see 26 seniors receive their diplomas.
Valedictorian Kory Willis and salutatorian Sonya Taylor will help lead the student-run commencement ceremony Saturday.

WOCHS principal Leonardo Thompson said the student-led ceremony will showcase the talent and leadership his students possess.

“We want to let the public know just what our kids are capable of accomplishing,” Thompson said.

The 2011-2012 school year marked Thompson’s second year with the high school, and he said he could not be more excited for the students graduating this year.

“They’ve worked so hard and accomplished so many goals this years,” Thompson said. “These kids have an incredible work ethic.”
WOCHS has over 200 students spread out across grades seventh through 12th.

Thompson said he believes the class has come together very well.
“They’re wonderful kids and I think the class as a while is very tight-knit.”

Thompson said his students have been working very hard over the last several weeks to finalize all graduation requirements and many have begun preparing for their futures in college.

Starkville Academy

By STEVEN NALLEY
sdnedu@bellsouth.net

Starkville Academy will hold its graduation ceremony 7 p.m. Friday at Mississippi State University’s Newell-Grissom Building.

Billy Wilbanks, SA high school principal, said a total of 59 students are set to graduate. Valedictorian Megan Gammill and Salutatorian Lauren Atwell will give speeches, he said, but no keynote speaker or musical performance is planned for the program.

The students will, however, continue their celebration after the ceremony with an SA tradition, Wilbanks said. Students will depart Friday evening and return Saturday morning from a senior mystery trip to a surprise location, he said, to avert perils often associated with graduation parties.

“We keep them safe,” Wilbanks said. “They’re supervised, so we don’t have any unfortunate things occur after graduation.”

Wilbanks said SA’s senior events leading up to graduation have gone smoothly, which, together with strong academic performance, attests to the seniors’ strong leadership.

“The things we’ve asked them to do, they’ve done with smiles on their faces,” Wilbanks said. “We haven’t had to worry about any playing around or pranks or anything. We’ve had an outstanding year.”

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