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Class Of 2011 Is Largest Graduating Class In Years

Valedictorian Jake Moorhead and Salutatorian Anna True

By Jack Gurner

WATER VALLEY – When the Class of 2011 walks into the Tad Smith Coliseum for the 89th Commencement Thursday night, they will be the largest group to graduates in recent memory.

About 75 will receive diplomas during the ceremony that will begin promptly at 7 p.m., according to Dr. Glenn Kitchen, Principal of Water Valley High School.

Kitchen said that 112 youngsters began kindergarten in 1998 and out of that number only about 40 of that original group started and ended in the Water Valley School District. He explained that many have moved away while others moved in. A few got ahead of he class and others dropped behind.

The Principal added that the group entered the 7th grade still a very large class. “I believe it was over a hundred then. Sometimes a class is so big they require another teacher. For example in grammar school if you normally had five 2nd grades, they required six.”

In high school the class usually required an extra section to get them through all their required courses. “This year it required an extra period of English and an extra period of Government. But, that has been the case every year with this group of kids,” said Kitchen.

He predicted that the class will have a high rate of success in remaining in college and seeing it all the way through. “They are top to bottom, across the board very, very bright.”

Kitchen noted that as a group the class worked hard and managed some good scores on the ACT test. “They are meeting the criteria they need to get into college. It’s exciting to have a class that has a good core group of academically minded students.”

 “All of our classes generally have some competitiveness, but much of that would be focused on the extra things that they do. This class is very competitive in extracurricular matters, but they are also competitive academically. I have not seen a class like that in a few years. They do have the ability to be one of the premier classes to walk out of here.”

Kitchen said the Class of 2006 was the last group that would compare to them academically.

He also praised their athletic ability. “All of those kids who played baseball, football, softball, and track this year all advanced to nearly the north half. They are very good athletes. They are also very smart athletes. They bring some things to the court and to the field that help them be more successful. They understand the game.”

And, he added, that competitiveness bleeds right over into the classroom. “They’re a good group of kids. They’ve been real leaders.”

One thing Kitchen said he found a little odd was, as far as he knows, no one in the class is going into the military. Usually there are two or three from each class who join the service each year, he noted.

Kitchen invited everyone to the graduation celebration and urged family and friends to be in their seats by 7 p.m. so they won’t miss the procession of graduates. The coliseum will be open at 6 p.m. and there is ample parking.

Among those speaking at the commencement will be Salutatorian Anna True and Valedictorian Jake Moorhead.

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