The six graduates who received their diplomas Saturday from Evans Christian Academy are just the tip of the iceberg for Columbia County Class of 2013 commencement exercises.
Most ceremonies will be held this coming weekend, and by the time the final graduate crosses the stage in Augusta Prep’s June 1 commencement, Columbia County public and private schools will have produced 1,636 new graduates, according to school officials.
The county’s public school graduations this weekend are making a change from previous years when all schools held their ceremonies at Augusta’s James Brown Arena. This year, Harlem High will hold its commencement at 7 p.m. Friday at the school’s football stadium.
In the event of rain, the ceremony will move into the school’s gym.
There are 170 seniors expected to graduate from Harlem. The school’s valedictorian is Sean Spurlin, and the salutatorian is Madeline Shepherd.
The marathon of public school graduation ceremonies begins in earnest Saturday at James Brown Arena, with Greenbrier High’s 374 prospective graduates – the county’s largest graduating class – starting at 8:30 a.m.
Greenbrier’s valedictorian is Laura Shipman, and its salutatorian is Briana Blair.
Grovetown High school is next at 11 a.m., with 285 graduates representing the first class to spend all four years of high school at the 4-year-old school.
The valedictorian is Megan Murphy, and the salutatorian is Emery Ashlyn Holliman.
Lakeside High School’s ceremony for its 363 graduates begins at 1:30 p.m. at the arena. Lakeside’s valedictorian is Matthew Jenkins, and the salutatorian is Emma Blume.
The final public-school ceremony is Evans High School’s, with 330 seniors crossing the stage starting at 4 p.m. Valedictorian is William Snider, and salutatorian is Rahul Shah.
Also at 4 p.m. Saturday, Augusta Christian Schools will hold commencement exercises at West Acres Baptist Church in Evans for its 60 graduates.
The valedictorian for Augusta Christian is Erick Sostre, and the salutatorian is Taylor Cason.
Augusta Prep holds the final graduation ceremony of the year at 3 p.m. June 1, with 48 seniors receiving diplomas. Augusta Prep’s valedictorian is Jack Owen, and salutatorian is Drew Chamberlain.
Prep’s ceremony will be held at the Boardman Auditorium on the campus.