Largest CHS graduating class turning tassles Friday

Cairo High School will graduate its largest class in school history when approximately 300 seniors accept their diplomas and turn their tassels Friday evening. Commencement Exercises for the Class of 2009 is scheduled to begin at 8 p.m., May 22, 2009, at West Thomas Stadium.
In addition to its size, the class has another distinction, two valedictorians. Saira Bari and Luke White Connell will share the duties of valedictorian with Dana Brock serving as salutatorian. There are 40 honor graduates in the class.
Although the weather forecast is uncertain, CHS Principal David McCurry urges all planning to attend graduation to remember to leave umbrellas in the car. Umbrellas, balloons and air horns will not be allowed in the stadium.
In addition, McCurry says he wants to encourage polite behavior during the event. “I want to remind everyone that graduation is a dignified ceremony and outbursts or disruptions should not take place. I encourage our guests to please be respectful of others in attendance,” McCurry said.
In case of rain Friday, graduation will take place at the stadium on Saturday at 10 a.m.
Although the Class of 2009 is the largest in recent memory, the current freshman class is primed to take over that distinction with 333 9th graders currently registered at CHS. Junior and sophomore classes are smaller with only 254 in 11th grade and 286 in 10th grade.
Of the expected 300 graduating seniors, 67 percent to 72 percent are eligible for HOPE (Helping Outstanding Pupils Educationally) scholarship money for college, according to Julie York, senior class counselor. The accurate percentage of the class will not be known until final grades are posted. York says to qualify for HOPE students on the college prep track must have a 3.0 grade point average in their core academic classes of English, math, science, social studies and foreign language; students on the tech prep track must have a 3.2 grade point average in their core classes, which are the same as college track students minus the foreign language. Starting with the rising sophomore class, students will have different requirements, York says, as they will be offered only one diploma option, a change made statewide by the Georgia Department of Education.

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