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Sikeston High School graduates 220; seniors generate $4 million in scholarships

Posted Date: 05/24/2017

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Credit: Standard Democrat

Members of the Sikeston High Schools’ class of 2017 generated over $4 million in scholarships, marking the highest amount in recent history.

Approximately 220 Sikeston High School and New Horizons High School graduates received diplomas Tuesday night during the 116th annual commencement at Sikeston Public Schools Stadium.

Leading the class in academics were Julius Hoang as valedictorian and Luke Blanton as salutatorian.

Hoang, who is the son of Dinh Hoang and Yen Hoang, was a member of FBLA, National Honor Society, Skills USA and marching band. Hoang, who achieved a perfect score of 36 on the ACT exam, plans to attend Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass., and major in computer software engineering.

Hoang said he was going to miss many of the people he’s made memories with over the past 12 years.

“It’s a little sad but exciting at the same time,” Hoang said. “I’m ready to see new people and new faces and do new things. It’s just an exciting new step. Today is when it all changes over from being in high school to on your way to being an adult.”

In his spare time, Hoang said he enjoys playing the trumpet, video games and tennis. The new grad said he’s hoping to audition for MIT’s wind symphony or orchestra, andthere are also some student-run band organizations.

“I definitely want to continue music. It’s been a big part of my life,” Hoang said.

Blanton is the son of Amy and Kevin Blanton. He is a member of the football, wrestling and golf teams; National Honor Society; and youth groups. He plans to attend University of Missouri-Columbia and is undecided on a major.

On Tuesday, Blanton and his peers were simply enjoying the moment.

“I feel like a weight has been lifted off of my shoulders,” Blanton said about graduation. “I’m relieved.”

Class president Ann Lancaster welcomed graduates and attendees and presented the class speakers.