The Beaufort County School District’s Class of 2014 has earned a record $27 million in college scholarships, and its members have acceptance letters in hand from more than 100 colleges and universities across the nation.
This year’s record scholarship total represents a $5 million increase over last year’s $22 million and a dramatic improvement from $11.7 million just five years ago.
“The kind of improvement is encouraging, and it says a lot about the commitment of our students, parents and educators,” said Superintendent Jeff Moss. “It demonstrates that they understand the value of additional education after high school, and also that they’re willing to work hard to get that education and have successful careers.”
More than 1,145 seniors are donning caps and gowns to receive their diplomas during this year’s graduation ceremonies at five high schools across the district.
Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans called high school graduation “a milestone in a young person’s life that’s celebrated by many people.”
“It’s a major accomplishment for the student, certainly, but it’s also a major accomplishment for the family members and educators who helped them and worked with them,” Evans said. “We wish our graduates all the best, whether they’re heading to college or entering the military or beginning their careers.”
The district’s graduation ceremonies are held in each school’s football stadiums unless weather moves them into the school buildings:
• Bluffton High: 310 graduates and $6,572,301 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is Foster Richie, and the class salutatorian is Stephanie Ortega.
• Battery Creek High: 147 graduates and $2,234,540 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is Erik Barbosa, and the salutatorian is Wendell Roberson.
• Beaufort High: 312 graduates and $7,926,102 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is James Rider, and the salutatorian is Olivia Durbin.
• Whale Branch Early College High School: 101 graduates and $2,880,655 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is Michelle Gee, and the co-salutatorians are Madison Auten and Raina Bryan.
• Hilton Head Island High: 275 graduates and $7,465,451 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is Hannah Brink, and the salutatorian is Brian Stuligross.