Wayne County Public Schools will graduate 1,236 seniors at the end of the 2017-18 school year, with five graduations taking place within the next week.
On Saturday, Eastern Wayne High School will hold its ceremony at 9 a.m. on the football field of Warrior Stadium. The school has 225 candidates for diplomas.
The Eastern Wayne valedictorian is Yoseph Yan, who plans to attend N.C. State University in the fall and study computer engineering. The salutatorian is Noah Frost who will major in biology at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Also Saturday, commencement at Spring Creek High School will start at 10 a.m. in the Kornegay Arena at the University of Mount Olive. The school has 149 graduates.
Veronica Ortiz, valedictorian, will be attending UNC-Chapel Hill to study biomedical engineering. Salutatorian Gabriel Barfield plans to attend UNC-Chapel Hill and pursue a degree in psychology.
The Rosewood graduating class has 117 members. Commencement will be held Monday at 7 p.m. on the Branch Pope football field.
Valedictorian Cameron Smith plans to pursue his studies in computer science at East Carolina University. Salutatorian Marc Lewis will be studying psychology at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Charles B. Aycock will graduate 293 -- the largest graduating class in the Wayne County public school system -- on Tuesday evening at 7 p.m. on the Hardy Talton Athletic Field.
Carson Smitherman is valedictorian. He plans to study biology at UNC-Chapel Hill in the fall.
The school has two salutatorians this year. Hanbin Koo intends to study biology at Williams College. Trenton Marlowe plans to attend N.C. State and study mechanical engineering.
Southern Wayne High will hold its ceremony in Kornegay Arena on the campus of the University of Mount Olive, on Tuesday at 7 p.m. The Class of 2018 has 205 students.
Howard Davis Caudill III is valedictorian of his class. He plans to attend N.C. State and study electrical engineering. Christopher Daly Jr., salutatorian, said he will be pursuing his studies in plant and soil science at N.C. State.
District officials said the graduation season is always an exciting time of year.
"These seniors have worked since kindergarten in preparation for this academic milestone," said Dr. Michael Dunsmore, WCPS superintendent. "We congratulate all of them for their hard work and commitment in becoming a WCPS graduate. Our 13 valedictorians and salutatorians are also to be commended for their achievements.
"On behalf of our district and school communities, I wish all of our graduating seniors the very best as they move on to higher education, the military or the workforce."
At two of the schools on the non-traditional calendar, a number of students juggled college coursework, with 30 graduates from WEMCH and 15 from WSE earning both a high school diploma and associate's degree from Wayne Community College.
For the first time in the history of the partnership between WCPS and WCC, Charles B. Aycock senior Jacob Holmes this year becomes the first graduate from a traditional high school to achieve the same distinction. He will officially graduate with a two-year degree from WCC in July.
Three other schools in the district -- Goldsboro High, Wayne Early/Middle College and the Wayne School of Engineering, operate on a different calendar schedule and have already handed out their diplomas. The non-traditional academic calendar high schools graduated 247 seniors, including 128 at GHS, 55 at WEMCH and 64 from WSE.
One other school also recognizes graduates from its program. Edgewood Community Developmental School had seven students who completed requirements for high school. During a ceremony on Tuesday, 16 pre-K and elementary students were also acknowledged with a certificate of achievement for meeting program requirements at that level. Officials said those students will now be able to transition to a traditional school in the fall.
The district is again offering another opportunity for students who may not have completed their work or other requirements in time to participate in the May/June ceremonies with their classmates.
On July 18, the second annual summer graduation ceremony will be held at 6 p.m. in the Moffatt Auditorium at WCC.