Congratulations, graduates

Jackson County School of Alternatives

The Jackson County School of Alternatives graduation ceremony was held June 5 at 5:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Building on the campus of Smoky Mountain High School. Superintendent Kim Elliott and Principal Angela Lunsford awarded diplomas. Keynote speaker was Jonathan Parsons, 2018-19 School of Alternatives and Jackson County Teacher of the Year.

Students receiving diplomas for spring 2019:

Slade Barkley, Eric Bengivenga, Stephen Bengivenga, Trenton Clauson, Oriana Fuller, Hillary Hines, Jana Hitchcock, Dylan Johnson, Hunter Jones, Kaitlyn Jones, Cecilia Mendoza, Elisha McClellan, Skylah McKinney, Marvecchio Norris, Alyssa Paiva, Lilyanna Quinn, Tanner Sims, Jada Sybounheuang, Natasha Tadlock, James Talbert, Katelynn Thomas, Nathan Ward and Lia Watkins.

The following students were early graduates in fall of this school year. Diplomas were awarded in December for: Kasia Bird, Evan Blankenship, Christopher Burrell, Katherine Craft, Hannah Harvey, Anthony Hedlund, Tony Johnson, Raven Osborne, Trenton Sanders, Dustin Smith, Tanner Stafford, Brittany Sturgis and Miranda Williamson.

Smoky Mountain High School

Smoky Mountain High School’s graduation ceremonies are slated for 7 p.m. tonight (Thursday) at the Ramsey Center on the campus of Western Carolina University. The program begins with the processional, “Pomp and Circumstance” arranged by SMHS alumnus Alex Baker. Senior members of the chorus will deliver the national anthem. Hannah King and Joe Carnes, student body treasurer and senior class vice president, will deliver the welcome and moment of reflection. Abby Spiro will give the class president address, and Tyler Milkey will give the student body vice president address. Holly Miller will give the student body president address, and Brooklyn Ensley, student body secretary, will present the senior gift. Kendall Wike, senior class representative, will introduce guest speaker April Bryson, SMHS assistant principal. Journalism and yearbook staff members will give a slideshow presentation, and assistant principals Bryson and Jimmy Cleaveland will present the candidates for graduation. Principal Evie Graning and Jackson County Public Schools Superintendent Kim Elliott will award diplomas, and Graning will deliver the declaration of graduates.

Jackson County Early College

Graduation ceremonies for Jackson County Early College were held May 23 at 6:30 p.m. in the Myers Auditorium at Southwestern Community College’s Balsam Center. Summer McMahan of Mountain Faith Band served as guest speaker. Brandon Pendergast conducted the presentation of candidates, and diplomas were awarded by Principal Melanie Jacobs and Superintendent Kim Elliott.

Blue Ridge Early College

Graduation ceremonies for Blue Ridge Early College were held May 24, at 6 p.m. at the College. “Pomp and Circumstance” was conducted by Bryan Heller, artist-in-residence for Blue Ridge Early College. The Blue Ridge Alma Mater was delivered by the Graduation Choir. The Pledge of Allegiance was given by Mystery Knope and Devon Heenan, senior class president and vice president. The National Anthem was delivered by Monica Palestino, BREC Senior. The Graduation Choir sang “A Million Dreams,” and the welcome and charge to the graduates was given by BREC Principal Brent Speckhardt. Student speakers were Alicia Minnihan and Dallas Dean. BREC counselor Amy Fahey gave the moment of reflection. Corey Smith gave the student presentation, “I’m Not Going to Cry.” BREC math teacher Brittany Elkins delivered the commencement address. Diplomas were awarded by Speckhardt, Superintendent Kim Elliot, Blue Ridge School Principal Teri Walawender and Fahey; degrees were conferred by Speckhardt.

For more about local high school graduation ceremonies, visit The Sylva Herald's C-section with the E-Edition here.