Graduation ceremonies around the region
• Today -- Walker Valley High
• Friday -- Sequatchie County High
• Friday, Saturday -- Hamilton County Schools*
• Saturday -- Bradley Central High
• May 17 -- Grundy County High, Whitwell High
• May 18 -- Bledsoe County High, Rhea County High, South Pittsburg High, Marion County High, Richard Hardy Memorial School
• May 19 -- Cleveland High
• May 25 -- Gordon Lee High, Dalton High, Morris Innovative High, Ringgold High, Lakeview-Fort Oglethorpe High, Dade County High
• May 26 -- Heritage High
• June 1 -- LaFayette High
• June 2 -- Ridgeland High
As seniors around the region prepare to don their caps and gowns, their excitement at finishing high school is tinged with apprehension of the unknown world of college or a full-time job and of leaving old haunts behind.
Graduates of Grundy County High School, however, might be forgiven for their nervousness. About half the class of 152 will be going to college, many for the first time in their families' histories, school counselor Jessie Kinsey said.
One first-generation college student is valedictorian Jerica Davis, who's trying to decide between a full scholarship ride to the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga or a lucrative financial package from Covenant College. Wherever she goes, she plans to study medicine and said shyly, "I kind of want to be a missionary doctor."
Davis said that, like many of her classmates, she's anxious about getting away from her family and the close community at Grundy County High, but she's excited to strike out for the big city.
"We don't get off the mountain much, but when we do, we go to Chattanooga," Davis said.
But she still has one more assignment before she can get ready for her summer and a mission trip working at a Belizean orphanage. As of Wednesday afternoon, she still hadn't started her valedictorian speech, and it was due the next day.
"We all have senioritis around here," she joked.