Seniors prepare to bid goodbye to high school   - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Seniors prepare to bid goodbye to high school  

May 19th, 2018 development
Seniors prepare to bid goodbye to high school  

By Colleen Sparks, Managing Editor


Seniors at high schools in Chandler are preparing to celebrate a rite of passage with graduations this month.

Seton Catholic seniors got a head start on their peers, graduating earlier this week.

Most ceremonies for students in the Chandler Unified School District will be held May 29 and May 30 at various venues. Valley Christian High School will hold its graduation at 7 p.m. May 25 at Grace Community Church, 1200 E. Southern Ave. in Tempe.

Graduating seniors with the highest grade point averages are honored with the title of valedictorian and the second highest with salutatorian. Other distinguished seniors have been chosen by their peers to deliver speeches at the graduation ceremonies, and adult administrators, teachers and at least one guest also will make remarks.

Bands, orchestras and recordings will play “Pomp and Circumstance” and other traditional songs as parents and other family members try to capture the moment. Some schools will enlist their choirs to sing at the ceremonies.

The 12th-graders planning to exit high school have earned millions of dollars in scholarships from post-secondary education institutions.

About 792 graduates are expected at Chandler High School, which will hold its ceremony at 8 p.m. May 30 on the football field at the campus, 350 N. Arizona Ave.

Chandler High’s graduating seniors have earned a total $21.2 million in scholarship offers so far. Two scholar/high honors students – Kevin Byrne and Gillian Harrill, nominated and elected by other scholar/high honors students – will speak at the ceremony.

Hamilton High will hold its graduation at 2:30 p.m. May 30 at ASU Wells Fargo Arena in Tempe. The school has 932 graduates. The graduates have been offered more than $33 million in scholarships. A graduating senior chosen by his peers, Gregory Miller, will give a speech.

Arizona College Preparatory – Erie Campus will hold its ceremony with 96 seniors at 5 p.m. May 30 in the gym, 1150 W. Erie St. The school does not rank students or name valedictorians and salutatorians.

However, the seniors have earned more than $29.6 million in academic scholarship offers and the school has two Flinn Scholars, five National Merit Scholars, four National Hispanic Scholars, a Coca-Cola Scholar and many other academic award winners.

Seniors Madi Bonfigt, Troy Gilchrist and Margaret Krenke will give speeches, as will student body president Erin Broas. The senior class chooses a faculty member to give the keynote address and this year the class selected English teacher Kathy Lindstrom. Seniors picked history teacher Kristen Bunch to read graduates’ names.

The graduating seniors at Valley Christian have been offered more than $5.4 million in scholarships.


Rachel Self made sure her gown was ready for the big day.

Valley Christian’s board of directors will give a family an Award for Service to the school and then seniors will give the school the class gift.

The school will also announce the winners of the Outstanding Senior Boy, Outstanding Senior Girl and Christian Character awards.

The students are nominated and chosen by faculty and staff members for the awards.

Christine Jones, a businesswoman, author and former Arizona gubernatorial and congressional candidate, will address the class. Valley Christian’s Spiritual Life director Greg Tonkinson will close the ceremony in prayer and school administrator Dan Kuiper will provide a presentation of the Class of 2018.

Casteel High School does not have a graduating class this year as the school only goes up to 11th grade.

Perry High School will hold its graduation at 6 p.m. May 29 at ASU Wells Fargo Arena.