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Clinton High School’s 184 newest alumni heard two speakers quote from “Winnie the Pooh” as they departed the safe confines of Red Devil land for the outside world, during Wednesday night Commencement.

Outgoing Principal Maureen Tiller, headed to the new Fountain Inn High School after a 20-year career with District 56, and student speaker Beth Wiggins, student body treasurer, quoted from the beloved children’s book filled with grown-up lessons during their presentations to the graduates.

Tiller gave the class, which includes her son, Sam, her final signature sign-off: “Make it a great day, or not, the choice is yours.”

Wiggins said, “Our time together is coming to a close. … It is our time to hug those we love a little bit tighter, and make sure everyone around us knew how genuinely thankful we were for them. This is not a good-bye but simply a see you later. Our daily journey of self-discovery was nothing short of wonderful. Congratulations, Class of 2019, may your caps fly as high as your dreams.”

The Class of 2019, faculty and staff, family and friends, Tiller, the new CHS Principal Dr. Martha Brothers, and District 56 Superintendent Dr. David O’Shields viewed the traditional senior slide show, prepared by Senior Class Sponsor Chris Wofford.

The seniors left the remaining balance on their student accounts to the school to pay for Commencement decorations, in a presentation made by Chelsea Hill, senior class treasurer.

Tiller, Brothers and Cam Nichols, senior class secretary, announced scholarships and awards. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Kailey Suber, student body vice-president, and the Invocation was presented by Hunter Benson, student body secretary. Student Body President Emma Pinson provided the welcome to a capacity crowd in the CHS Gym.

Tiller and O’Shields presented each graduate’s diploma. Kari Young was the class Valedictorian, and Hunter Benson was the class Salutatorian.

Thirty-three seniors were designated as 2019 High Honor Graduates, with a final cumulative GPA of 4.5 or higher. They wore stoles. Forty-six students were designated as 2019 Honor Graduates, final cumulative GPA of 3.75 – 4.49. They wore gold cords.

National Honor Society, Beta Club and National Art Honor Society members wore cords. CHS also provides cords for students in 14 other organizations and honors.

Forty-nine Clinton High School graduates were listed in the program as scholarship winners, with most listing multiple scholarship offers.