The final graduating class of Southern Vance High School, with 169 seniors, received high school diplomas on June 9 during the school’s Graduation and Commencement Exercises held in the morning at McGregor Hall in Henderson.
Principal Rey Horner led the proceedings as he watched his graduates march into the auditorium, which was packed with almost 1,000 parents, siblings, other family members, school staff members, school system officials and community residents. Horner congratulated the seniors for their achievements and urged each of them to go out into the world and make a real difference.
Itzy Chavarin Contreras was the class valedictorian. She gave a very emotional speech to her classmates and those in the audience. She took the time to especially thank her father for his influence and work in helping her to achieve what she has achieved so far in life.
The class salutatorian was Crystal Marrow.
After all of the graduates processed into the auditorium, the Vance County Air Force Junior ROTC Color Guard presented the colors. Jykira Benson, a graduating senior, sang the “National Anthem.”
Six members of the graduating class sang a special song they wrote as the “Class Song.” Those graduates providing the excellent rendition were Timothy Massenburg, Jordan Alston, Kevon Perry, Desmond Mills, Justus Baldwin and Shamond Lyons.
Each graduate’s name was announced and they walked across the stage to receive their diploma. The diplomas were presented by Horner, Superintendent Anthony D. Jackson, Vance County Board of Education Chairwoman Darlynn Oxendine, and Assistant Superintendents Cindy Bennett, Trixie Brooks and Jennifer Bennett.
The Class of 2018 at Southern Vance has accepted a total of over $2 million in scholarship funds to attend colleges and universities in the fall. Most of the graduates will go on to further their education in a community college or two-year or four-year college and university. Some of the graduates plan to enter the military and a few will go directly into the workforce.
Those seniors in the graduating class who completed their high school careers in the top 10 percent academically were Itzy Chavarin Contreras (ranked #1), Crystal Marrow (ranked #2), Kailee Ball, Reina Banda Orozco, Cody Edwards, Adriana Evans, Cynthia Hernandez, Walter Hernandez, Emily Isidro, Perla Lopez, Brandon Loyd, Ashley Mosley, Litzy Renteria, Onjahlaya Robinson, Karen Sandoval, Kaitlyn Tant, Antoinette Watson, Destiny Williams and Aliyah Wright.
Students in the Southern Vance High junior class who served as graduation marshals included: Madonna Baselios (lead marshal); Wendy Portillo (lead marshal); Eleodoro Aldana; Dylan Allgood; Sarah Burns; Miracle Chin; Shel’Nyia Hargrove; Deana Hawkins; Mya McKnight; April Pendergrass; John Pendergrass; Shannon Riggan; Aaliyah Simril; Robert Susewell; Tar’Naja Thorpe; and Gabriela Ventura.Image Information: Principal Rey Horner stands at the podium as he addresses the Class of 2018 at Southern Vance High School and the audience at the Graduation and Commencement Exercises.