Happy Valley graduation set for Sunday afternoon

Published 9:12 pm Friday, May 20, 2016

Happy Valley Graduation Graphic
On Sunday afternoon 125 Warriors will begin the next phase of their lives as Happy Valley High School holds it’s commencement ceremony.
The school’s graduation will be held at 3 p.m. on Sunday inside Seeger Chapel at Milligan College. This is a departure from tradition as the school typically held its ceremony on Saturday morning inside the Happy Valley football stadium.
“They are putting in a new stadium at our football field so we had to move our graduation ceremony,” said HVHS Counselor Jennifer Ellis.
The Class of 2016 at Happy Valley boasts a large number of academic achievements, Ellis said.
Seven of the graduating seniors share the honor of being named Valedictorian for the class, each of them earning a perfect 4.0 grade point average during their high school career. The Valedictorians are: Ashley Babb, Courtney Babb, Ryne Baines, Hannah Bowers, Mackenzie Davis, Shelby Harding, and Kalee Johnson. Coming in with 3.96 grade point averages are the class’s two Salutatorians — Sadie Buchanan and Robert Campbell.
Many of those graduating on Sunday have earned college scholarships through their hard work, both on and off the field.
“We had more scholarships from ETSU than we’ve ever gotten before,” Ellis said. “We have several going to Milligan with sports and athletic scholarships.”
In addition to the traditional scholarships students often receive, Ellis said two members of the graduating class also received some unique and prestigious scholarships that will pay for their full tuition as long as they maintain good grades.
Noah Lyons was selected as one of the first ever recipients of the Dr. E.E. Perry Memorial Scholarship. The scholarship was created by an endowment from the estate of the late Dr. Ed Perry and is administered by the East Tennessee Foundation. Lyons will be attending East Tennessee State University in the fall where he will be a Pre-Med major, Ellis said.
Hannah Smith received the Elks Nursing Scholarship, which is a full scholarship through the Elks Lodge. Smith will be attending ETSU this fall where she will major in nursing, Ellis said.
In addition to the scholarships, many of the graduates will be leaving high school having already earned credits toward their college education through the school’s dual enrollment program. As part of the program, the students can take college level courses while still in high school. Funding for the program comes from state lottery money, Ellis said.
“We had more students in dual enrollment status earning college credits this year than we’ve ever had before,” she said. “They will enter college with a semester or full year of credits already earned.”
A majority of the graduates have plans to continue their education either through college, a technical or trade school, or through a military career.
Three members of the Class of 2016 have signed to enlist the U.S. Navy following graduation — Michael Barnes, Christian Dourcher and Bayley Ensor.
“This is a fine group of students. We want them to be successful once they leave here,” Ellis said. “I can see doctors, I can see lawyers, I can see nurses and all kinds of different things. These kids are going to do super things.”

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