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Graduations move back indoors Friday

After moving commencement celebrations outdoors during the pre-vaccination heights of COVID-19, local high schools are once again going indoors for graduation ceremonies this Friday.

It’s just as well. Friday has a 77% chance of rain, according to weather forecasts.

Clinton High School will introduce its newly minted 167 graduates to the world first with a 9 a.m. ceremony in the school gym. Laurens District High School’s ceremony at its gym is set for 7 p.m., and Laurens Academy will begin its ceremony at 7:30 p.m. at its gym.

While LDHS held its graduation on campus at K.C. Hanna Stadium the past couple of years, Clinton had to go off-campus to Wilder Stadium, which is at the current Clinton Middle School – formerly the high school.

Clinton senior advisor Sallie Wiggins said the decision to go back inside for the commencement was made this week on Monday.

“Going to a different school is rough because you have to take all the diplomas and set everything up,” she said, noting that Senior Awards night is set for Thursday at 8 p.m. at the school gym as well. “We figured if we made the call at least we have the chairs and stage in place.”

At LDHS, Tina Faulkner will preside over her last  graduation as principal of the high school. She is taking over District 55’s Preparatory Academy after the academic year is completed.

Fourteen members of the Class of 2022 will graduate from Laurens Academy, which moves its commencement back on campus. Presbyterian College has hosted the event in the past.

Colton McGee is Valedictorian at LA, and Emily Abercrombie is Salutatorian.

Clinton’s Joseph Louis Ardelt is his class Valedictorian, and Peregrin Isaac Darden is Salutatorian.

At LDHS, Catherine McKenzie Little is Valedictorian, and Anna Grace Taylor is Salutatorian.

Lighthouse Christian Academy held its graduation ceremony on May 6. James Smith was recognized as Valedictorian, and Lora Harris as Salutatorian.

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