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High schools to conduct graduation ceremonies

High schools to conduct graduation ceremonies for Class of 2024

More than 2,000 seniors to receive their diploma from Gaston County Schools
Gastonia, N.C. – Graduation for Gaston County Schools is Friday, May 24, and ten high schools will conduct ceremonies that day to present diplomas to the Class of 2024.  This year, more than 2,000 seniors will graduate from Gaston County Schools.  
High school graduation is a well-planned, formal ceremony intended to highlight the seniors in the Class of 2024 as each student receives his or her diploma. 
Ashbrook, Bessemer City, Cherryville, Stuart W. Cramer, East Gaston, Forestview, Highland, Hunter Huss, North Gaston, and South Point will hold graduation on Friday, May 24 at 6:00 p.m. The ceremonies will be held outdoors in the stadium with the exception of Highland and North Gaston – the Highland ceremony will be held in the school’s auditorium, and the North Gaston ceremony will be held in the school’s gymnasium.  In the event of inclement weather, the outdoor ceremonies will be held indoors.
In addition to ceremonies at the 10 traditional high schools, ceremonies will be held for five other schools with a graduating class.

Gaston County Schools’ two Early Colleges will conduct graduation on Thursday, May 16 in the Myers Center at Gaston College in Dallas. The Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences ceremony is at 5:00 p.m. followed by the Gaston Early College High School ceremony at 6:30 p.m.  This is the first commencement for the Gaston Early College of Medical Sciences, which opened in August 2021.

Graduation exercises for the Gaston Virtual Academy, Webb Street School, and Warlick Academy take place on Wednesday, May 22. The Gaston Virtual Academy ceremony is at 9:00 a.m. at the Gastonia Conference Center.  The Webb Street ceremony is at 11:30 a.m. in the school’s gymnasium, and the Warlick ceremony is at 2:00 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium. 

Superintendent of Schools Morgen A. Houchard stated, “Graduation is a very special time for our seniors and their families as the seniors celebrate and reflect on their many achievements in academics, athletics, the fine arts, extracurricular activities, volunteer and community service, and other areas.  The seniors in the Class of 2024 are well prepared for a new and exciting phase in life, and we look forward to learning about the many opportunities and successes that come their way.  The Board of Education joins me in congratulating the graduates in the Class of 2024 and extending our very best wishes to them for success and prosperity as they have a bright and promising future ahead of them.”
Tickets for Graduation
Each school will communicate with students/families about the number of graduation entry tickets that will be allotted for each senior.  Anyone with questions about tickets should contact the school office.

Safety at Graduation
All high schools have a comprehensive safety plan for graduation, and school officials have spent time working with local law enforcement to ensure that graduation is an enjoyable experience for everyone in attendance.  To ensure safety, the following procedures will be in place:

 ▪ Each school will have additional security personnel – a police presence will be noticeable on campus.
▪ Attendees should arrive early and be prepared to stand in line to enter the ceremony.
▪ Metal detectors (walk-through units and hand-held wands) will be used.  Everyone at graduation, including students, parents, relatives, school personnel, and guests, will be subject to metal detection screening.
▪ Attendees should not bring any bags (purses, handbags, bookbags, etc.) to graduation.
▪ Traffic congestion is likely near the high schools beginning one hour before the start of graduation.  Attendees should plan accordingly to allow enough time for parking, entering the ceremony, and being seated before the procession of graduates begins.
▪ Being vigilant is important.  Anyone who sees or is aware of suspicious activity at graduation should contact a school official or law enforcement immediately.
Special Guests
Each graduation ceremony will have its share of speakers and special guests.  Traditionally, the school’s valedictorian and salutatorian give a speech as does the principal and other student representatives.  

Gaston County Board of Education members are scheduled to attend graduation on May 24 and are among the dignitaries who congratulate the graduating class.  A Board member and the Superintendent of Schools are assigned to attend a ceremony (see list below):

  • Ashbrook: Dot Guthrie, Gastonia Township
  • Bessemer City: Brent Moore, Crowders Mountain Township
  • Cherryville: Robbie Lovelace, Cherryville Township
  • Stuart W. Cramer: Tod Kinlaw, South Point Township 
  • East Gaston: A.M. Stephens III, Riverbend Township
  • Forestview: Dot Cherry, Vice Chairman, At-Large Member 
  • Highland: Lee Dedmon, Gastonia Township 
  • Hunter Huss: Dr. Morgen Houchard, Superintendent of Schools
  • North Gaston: Josh Crisp, Dallas Township 
  • South Point: Jeff Ramsey, Chairman, At-Large Member 

All Board of Education members are invited to attend the Early College graduation ceremonies on May 16 and the Gaston Virtual Academy, Warlick Academy, and Webb Street School ceremonies on May 22.