06/09/09 — 1,205 seniors will turn tassels this week

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1,205 seniors will turn tassels this week

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 9, 2009 1:46 PM


Top students at six Wayne County public schools will be featured during commencement ceremonies this weekend. Pictured back row from left are valedictorians Andrew Swedenburg, Spring Creek High; Stephanie Walsh, Charles B. Aycock High; Caroline Keen, Rosewood High; Sarah Urdzik, Eastern Wayne High; Amber Bowden, Southern Wayne High; and Jordan McIntyre, Goldsboro High. Front row, from left, are salutatorians Lauren Player, Spring Creek; Gavin Williford, Aycock; Meredith Grantham, Rosewood; Katy Mazer, Eastern Wayne; April Tucker, Southern Wayne; and Dominique Sauls, Goldsboro.

Wednesday is the last day of school for many students in Wayne County Public Schools, and the precursor for commencement ceremonies this weekend.

The district will graduate 1,205 seniors this spring. Twenty-six of those made up the third graduating class at Wayne Early/Middle College High School, which held its ceremony at Wayne Community College on May 28.

Graduation events are spread out over three days this year, starting with Southern Wayne High School on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Mount Olive College with 224 candidates.

Valedictorian Amber Bowden plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to study applied science. Salutatorian April Tucker has been accepted at UNC-Wilmington, where she will study biology.

Goldsboro High School will hold its ceremonies inside the school gymnasium on Friday at 6:30 p.m. The school has 135 candidates for diplomas.

Valedictorian Jordan McIntyre will attend North Carolina State University, where he will major in aerospace engineering. Saluta-torian Dominique Sauls will study education at N.C. Central University.

At 7 p.m. Friday, 290 Char-les B. Aycock High School seniors will be presented diplomas on the football field.

Valedictorian Stephanie Walsh plans to study biochemistry at Campbell University. Salutatorian Gavin Williford will attend UNC-Chapel Hill but has not declared a major.

The remaining three graduations will take place on Saturday morning.

Eastern Wayne High School's event will be held outside on the school's football field starting at 9 a.m. The class has 289 graduates this year.

Valedictorian Sarah Urdzik will study math at UNC-CH, while salutatorian Katy Mazer will major in environmental engineering at N.C. State.

At 10 a.m. on its football field, Rosewood will graduate 124 students.

Valedictorian Caroline Keen has been accepted at Duke University, where she will study sociology with a pre-law track. Salutatorian Meredith Grantham intends to study architecture at N.C. State.

Spring Creek graduation will be held at Mount Olive College at 11 a.m., with 119 students receiving diplomas.

Valedictorian Andrew Swedenburg has been accepted at UNC-CH. He has not declared a major. Salutatorian Lauren Player will also attend UNC-CH, where she will study biology.

School officials say the rite of passage is highly anticipated each year.

"For the past 13 years, teachers, parents, administrators and even community volunteers have worked to provide these graduating students the tools to be successful in their academic careers," said Dr. Steven Taylor, superintendent of schools. "It is very rewarding to watch these students don caps and gowns in their achievement of this academic milestone.

"We wish all of our graduates continued success as they move on to college, the military or the work force."