Local high schools are making final preparations for the graduation ceremonies of the Class of 2017 and plan to give the graduating seniors a solid send-off.
West Bladen recently announced its top students for the graduating class — Amber Long will be graduating as valedictorian of the class, followed by Salutatorian Alanna Ludlum. East Bladen did not announce its top students prior to graduation and could not be reached for comment about its academic recognitions.
While East Bladen announced it will not have a guest speaker at its graduation ceremony, graduating senior Emily Scott will be giving the charge to the Eagles seniors.
West Bladen will have several speakers. In addition to valedictorian Long and salutatorian Ludlum, speakers for the service include class president Morgan Schumacher, as well as Superintendent of Bladen County Schools Robert Taylor and West Bladen High School Principal Peggy Hester. West Bladen’s senior class officers will also participate in the ceremony. For the 2016-17 school year, Schumacher served as president, Jerena Purdie was vice president, Amber Long served as secretary, and the position of treasurer was held by Destinee Singletary.
The East Bladen graduation is on Friday at 6 p.m. Scheduled to be held in the school’s main gymnasium, the ceremony is admissible by ticket only, regardless of age and including infants. Seniors received six tickets each. Doors will open at 4:30 p.m. and close promptly at 5:55 p.m. No one will be permitted entry once doors are closed, and anyone who leaves will not be allowed to re-enter but must remain in the atrium. Seniors should arrive at East Bladen on or before 4:30 p.m. to get prepared for the ceremony.
At West Bladen, seniors will be graduating Saturday at 10 a.m. in the Knights’ main gymnasium, with a live camera feed to be shown in the Knight’s auxiliary gymnasium behind the main gym. Admission to both gymnasiums is by ticket only, regardless of age and including infants. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Seniors should arrive by 9 a.m. with their cap, tassel, gown, sash, and school-designated cords and go to the cafeteria for lineup. All guests must be inside and seated by 9:55 a.m., when admission doors will be locked.
School officials request that attendees to both services refrain from yelling, whistling, or clapping in order to be considerate of everyone else; that guests refrain from taking photos and video; and that cell phones and children remain silent.
Chrysta Carroll can be reached by calling 910-862-4163.