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2010 WRHS grads set high standard

The world better watch out, the White River High School Class of 2010 is on its way, Kelsey Smith told the crowd at commencement ceremonies June 8 at the White River Amphitheatre.

In a ceremony that opened with the promise of sunny skies and closed under a torrential downpour, Smith shared valedictorian and speaking honors with classmate Laura Venemon. Frannie Nunn was salutatorian.

The class was praised for its inclusion of its special needs population through programs like Connections.

Principal Mike Hagadone took a few minutes to announce more than $926,000 in scholarships will be awarded to 2010 graduates, almost $200,000 more than 2009.

He continued to note of the 284 graduates, 59 percent will attend a two- or four-year university, and for one of the rare times in school history a graduate – Smith – will attend an Ivy League college, Cornell University in New York City.

Another 11 percent of WRHS graduates plan to attend a technical school and 12 students will enter the armed forces.

With a quick closing remark and a turn of their tassels, the 105th White River High graduating class was on its way into the world.

At the June 9 school board meeting, Superintendent Tom Lockyer noted White River High’s increased graduation rate, 90 percent, and large numbers of students who have a post high-school plan are evidence the district’s culture has changed.

He said 2000 census statistics reflect less than 20 percent of WRHS students had post-graduation education plans. Those numbers, he noted, started to increase and were at 67 percent last year. This year, 70 percent of the class of 2010 plans to attend a two- or four-year college or a technical school.

“I truly believe that this change reflects the work we have been doing in this district over the past four years,” Lockyer said.

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