High school graduation season for the Class of 2019 gets underway next week, with private and nontraditional schools holding commencement ceremonies.
At the same time, this marks the first year there are no valedictorians and salutatorians in the public schools.
Last year marked the final season for the official designation since Wayne County Public Schools joined many other districts in adopting a new class ranking system.
The move took effect in 2015 when the state Board of Education mandated that high schools switch from the traditional seven-point grading scale to a 10-point scale often used by college and universities.
Private schools have retained the distinction, with the three local ones announcing valedictorians and salutatorians.
In addition to the honor it represents, valedictorians and salutatorians participate in their respective ceremonies at Faith Christian Academy, Wayne Christian School and Wayne Country Day School.
Officials at Wayne County Public Schools announced that the district schools this year will feature student speakers chosen to address their classmates at graduation, joining Wayne School of Engineering and Wayne Early/Middle College School, which had traditionally done that.
The following is the schedule of the high school graduations around the county.
Wayne Country Day School will graduate 38 students, its largest class in the school’s nearly five-decade history. The Class of 2019 also boasts the school’s highest average SAT scores, officials said.
The ceremony will take place at the Paramount Theatre at 11 a.m., May 22.
Langley Barnes and Charlie Dees are sharing the role of valedictorian.
Barnes has not decided where she is going to college but said she is interested in pursuing studies in neuroscience and possibly science.
Dees will be attending Georgetown University and has not determined his major.
The faculty address for the Wayne Country Day School ceremony will be from coach David Flowers.
Faith Christian will hold baccalaureate at 6 p.m., Sunday, in the Faith Church auditorium, with Micah Conlon, FCA administrator, speaking.
Graduation will be 7 p.m., May 23, in the auditorium, with the Rev. Christian Powell, senior pastor, addressing the students.
There are 12 graduates this year, including valedictorian Hannah Leigh Brown and co-salutatorians Cassidy Leigh Glover and Bailey Nicole Teague.
Brown will be pursuing her studies in nursing at Liberty University.
Glover said she is deciding between Wayne Community College and Wilson Community College, in anticipation of studying veterinary medicine.
Teague said she is undecided about a major but plans to start her education at Wayne Community College.
Wayne Christian has 22 graduates this year, who will receive diplomas at 6 p.m., May 24, in the school’s Clifford Gymnasium.
Former administrator Ashley Shook will be the commencement speaker.
Valedictorian is Ethan Taylor, who intends to pursue a degree in communications at Liberty University.
Salutatorian Jeremy Bentley, who is also senior class president, will attend Campbell University and study exercise science.
Wayne County Public Schools on the nontraditional calendar are also wrapping up their classes, with three schools in the first round of ceremonies.
Wayne School of Engineering graduation will be at 6 p.m., May 22, at Goldsboro High School.
The school has 77 candidates, with student speakers on the program to be Alexis Crouse, Micah Mooring, Brody Morton and Nicol Olmstead.
Wayne Early/Middle College High will graduate 58 students, at 6 p.m., May 23, at The Bridge Church near Princeton.
Student speakers include Hanna Reynolds, Kasey Jones and Rebecca Eliassaint.
Goldsboro High has 120 candidates for diplomas. The ceremony is planned for 6 p.m., May 24, on the school football field.
Student Katherine Pelt will address her fellow graduates.
Details are still being finalized for the remaining schools on the traditional calendar, but the following dates and time have been released.
Charles B. Aycock and Rosewood high schools will hold their events at 7 p.m., June 13. Both will hold the ceremonies outside on their football fields.
Southern Wayne High School is scheduled to hold its ceremony at 7 p.m., June 14, in Kornegay Arena on the University of Mount Olive campus.
The final two will be held on Saturday morning, June 15.
Eastern Wayne High School will have its event at 9 a.m., on the football field.
Commencement at Spring Creek High School will begin at 10 a.m., in Kornegay Arena.