By Melissa Rollins, Editor, firstname.lastname@example.org
One May 8, a group of Darlington High School students gathered at South of Pearl for one last celebration together before graduation. These thirteen students are part of the DHS Early College Program and will have finished high school earning both a high school diploma and their associate degree from Florence-Darlington Technical College.
Debra Wallace, the Early College Honors Program Coordinator, said that the Principal’s Luncheon was a special time for the students and the administrators who attend.
“We like to hold this luncheon to honor them,” Wallace said. “They have worked so hard and we have stressed them out so much. It is a nice time to get them all together and share one last meal before they go off. Once graduation hits, they are going to be going in all different directions even though some of them will be going to the same school. It is just one last opportunity for all of us to get together.”
Wallace said that included district administration was important because they are the ones who approve and support the Early College Program.
“Our district office, who we couldn’t do this without, doesn’t really get a chance to interact with them much,” Wallace said. “This gives them a chance to see what they’ve approved all these years when we’ve asked them to support us.”
South of Pearl Owner Todd Hardee welcomed the students to his establishment and congratulated them on their accomplishments.
“We are mighty proud of you,” Hardee said. “We wish you a lot of luck in the future, a lot of luck going forward. I don’t remember being able to graduate college and high school at the same time. It took some of us fourteen years just to get out. I can’t brag on ya’ll enough. We’re mighty proud of you. Education is very important. When you get my age you start realizing it. Now, they are preparing you guys for going out in life correctly. It used to be that a high school education was great and an associate degree was perfect. Then, a B.S. degree would get you where you needed to go. Now it is a masters and a PhD. You guys are on the right track. Congratulations for working your tails off; I know you did.”
Outgoing interim superintendent Bill Boyd shared a meal with the students and also sent his congratulations.
“This is a great honor for me to come and celebrate with this group who will be earning their associate degrees along with their high school diplomas,” Boyd said. “This is my fiftieth year so to be able to celebrate and go out with this distinguished group is more than an honor.”
Darlington County School District Graduation Ceremonies:
• The Darlington County Institute of Technology will hold its Completer Recognition Ceremony at 6 p.m. May 23 inside Darlington Middle School’s gymnasium. A ticket is not required for entry.
• The Darlington County Intervention School will hold its graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on June 6 in the school’s cafeteria. A ticket is not required for entry.
• Mayo High School for Math, Science and Technology will hold its ceremony at 5:30 p.m. on June 6 inside the SiMT Building on the campus of Florence-Darlington Technical College. A ticket is required for entry.
• Lamar High School’s graduation will be held at 7 p.m. on June 6 at Donald R. Poole Stadium at the school. A ticket is not required for entry unless inclement weather forces the ceremony to be moved inside.
• Darlington High School will hold graduation services at the Florence Center, formerly known as the Florence Civic Center, at 5:30 p.m. on June 7. A ticket is required for entry.
• Hartsville High School’s graduation will be held at 7 p.m. on June 7 inside the Hartsville High School Arena at the school. A ticket is required for entry.