Education

Durham Public Schools set for 3 consecutive days of high school graduations Monday, June 12

Northern High School graduates clown around during their 2016 commencement at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Northern High School graduates clown around during their 2016 commencement at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Durham Public Schools

Durham Public Schools graduations will crank up this week, beginning Monday, June 12 with commencement for the School of Creative Studies (SCS) and the Performance Learning Center (PLC).

Both commencements will be held at Riverside High School.

The SCS will kick things off at 9 a.m., and be followed by the PLC ceremony at 12:30 p.m.,

The Class of 2017 will be the first graduating class for SCS.

Commencement excercises for DPS’ six traditional high schools will begin Tuesday, June 13 when thousands of family members, friends and other well-wishers flock to Duke University’s Cameron Indoor Stadium through Wednesday June 14 to celebrate the graduation of nearly 2,000 DPS seniors.

It is sure to be a bittersweet occasion for Superintendent Bert L’Homme who will retire in August, which means DPS’ classes of 2017 will be the last to have their diplomas signed by L’Homme.

The Riverside High School graduation Tuesday at 1 p.m., is certain to be a joyous occasion for Wildin Acosta, a native of Honduras and former Riverside student, who found himself on the brink of deportation last year.

Acosta, who eventually was allowed to remain in the U.S., finished his course work in December, but opted to participate in June’s graduation ceremony instead of winter commencement that was held in January.

This week marks the second wave of graduations for DPS.

Last month, nearly 400 students received diplomas from DPS’ four specialty high schools.

Commencement advice to the class of 2017 came from comedians, politicians, media moguls and songwriters. Each of speaker had wisdom and jokes to encourage the graduates. Among the most repeated themes were the importance of community, taking on fe

Here’s a look at this week’s commencement calendar for DPS schools. Note that scholarship-figure reporting varies from school to school. Some schools include all offers of scholarship money, some only scholarships accepted and some do not include athletic scholarship offers while others do.

School for Creative Studies

When: 9 a.m., Monday, June 12

Where: Riverside High School

Speakers: Valedictorian, Alexandra Gaines; Salutatorian, Shemayah Myrtle-B Hart.

Graduates: 55

Notable: This will be the school’s first graduating class ... SCS seniors have earned more than $150,000 in scholarships.

Performance Learning Center

When: 12:30 a.m., Monday, June 12

Where: Riverside High School

Speaker: William Elmore, motivational speaker

Graduates: 52

Southern School of Energy and Sustainability

When: 9 a.m., Tuesday, June 13

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University

Speakers: Student Body President Keiyonda Crowder; Valedictorian, Bobby Fuller; Salutatorian, Joelle Dvorak; Remarks, Principal Jerome Leathers.

Graduates: 285

Notable: Seniors have accepted nearly $800,000 in scholarships.

Riverside High School

When: 1 p.m., Tuesday, June 13

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University

Speakers: Valedictorian, Aaron Balleisen; Salutatorian, Brennan Pitts; Senior Class President, Daniel Elmenshawi; Student Body President, Chloe Hogan.

Graduates: 400

Notable: Honduran immigrant Wildin Acosta who was nearly deported last year, will be among the graduates. ... Riverside seniors earned nearly $1.9 million in scholarships.

Jordan High School

When: 5 p.m., Tuesday, June 13

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University

Speakers: Valedictorian, Irene Zhang; Salutatorian, Alana Michelle Fiordalisi; Student Body President, Fana Haile-Selassie, Senior Class President, Olivia Rodriguez, Remarks, Principal Susan Taylor

Graduates: 400

Notable: Jordan’s seniors earned more than $4 million in scholarships.

Hillside High School

When: 9 a.m., Wednesday, June 14

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University

Speakers: Valedictorian, Jiana Brown; Salutatorian, Adrianne Lyons; Welcome, Student Government President John Batey; Remarks, Principal William Logan

Graduates: 272

Notable: The Hillside senior class has earned $18.1 million in scholarship offers, 79 percent based on academics.

Northern High School

When: 1 p.m., Wednesday, June 14

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University

Speakers: Valedictorian, Corbin Bryan; Salutatorian, Carl Fowler; Student Body President, Summer Clifford; Senior Class President, Sam Harding

Graduates: 297

Notable: Northern’s seniors have earned about $2 million in scholarships to date.

Durham School of the Arts

When: 5 p.m., Wednesday, June 14

Where: Cameron Indoor Stadium, Duke University

Speakers: Valedictorian, Eugen Craciunescu; Salutatorian, John “Jack” Swansey; Introduction of Speakers, Reuben Tacas; Opener, Maria Hernandez Cortes; Closer, Raquel Bullock.

Graduates: 220

Notable: DSA seniors earned $3.33 million in scholarships.

Greg Childress: 919-419-6645, @gchild6645

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