Class of 2015 grads awarded $30 million in scholarships

The Beaufort County School District’s Class of 2015 has earned a record $30 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 $3 million increase over last year and a dramatic improvement from $11.1 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 our students 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 a thousand seniors donned caps and gowns to receive their diplomas during this year’s graduation ceremonies at five high schools across the district.

“High school graduation is a celebration that focuses on our students, and that’s as it should be,” said Board of Education Chairman Bill Evans. “But as we spotlight our students, we should also acknowledge the support they received from their parents and families, and also from their teachers, school leaders and staff. Congratulations to everyone!”

· Battery Creek High – 166 graduates and $5,743,872 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Kierra Breille Grayson, and the salutatorian is Raven Nichole Chapman.

· Beaufort High – 264 graduates and $8,274,350 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Alexandra Shae Zapp and the salutatorian is John Stuart Mattison Pike.

· Bluffton High – 264 graduates and $5,000,191 in scholarships. The class valedictorian is Sean Michael Greiner, and the salutatorian is Thomas Paul Gwozdz.

· Hilton Head Island High – 270 graduates and $7,868,208 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Carolanne O’Fee, and the salutatorian is Elizabeth “Lilla” Felix.

· Whale Branch Early College High School – 95 graduates and $3,722,792 in scholarships – The class valedictorian is Austin Zavier Suarez, and the salutatorian is Rebekah Taylor.

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