By STEVEN NALLEY
Starkville High School will hold its graduation ceremony 6 p.m. Friday at Mississippi State Universityâ€™s Humphrey Coliseum.
The Starkville School District Board of Trustees has also invited graduates and their immediate families to a reception before the ceremony at 4:30 p.m. in the coliseumâ€™s Presidentâ€™s Room. Starting at 5:30 p.m., the sounds of the SHS Wind Ensemble will greet guests entering the coliseum.
Valedictorian Brian Xu and Salutatorian Lauren Hughes will both give speeches, and senior class counselor Leterice Townsend said she estimates 198 graduating seniors will take part in the ceremony. The class is small for SHS, she said; it started out small in the ninth grade and shrunk further as students transferred to other schools and other states.
â€śThe ninth grade class coming in next year ... is about 348 (students),â€ť Townsend said.
Class counselors at SHS stay with a given class through grades 9-12, and when a class graduates, they rotate back to the incoming freshmen. For this reason, Townsend said she has been with the class since she came to SHS when they were 10th graders. She said they exemplify everything SHSâ€™s student body as a whole can accomplish.
â€śIâ€™m going to miss them when they graduate,â€ť Townsend said. â€śThey work hard; they strive for the best. They want to graduate. They want to be successful. Iâ€™m very proud to be their counselor.â€ť