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SC Whitmore School awards 136 diplomas to 2020 graduates

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Columbia, SC – SC Whitmore School (SCWS), an online public high school based in Columbia, is excited to announce the graduation of 136 high school students during the 2019 – 2020 school year. This includes 13 winter graduates, 95 spring graduates, and an additional 27 graduates in the extended school year of June and July. 

Executive Director John Loveday said, “I am incredibly proud of all of the seniors in the graduating class of 2020. Since March, students from all across South Carolina have been displaced due to COVID-19 and forced to learn online. For our students, they are experienced online learners and I am proud of their tenacity and willingness to think outside the box.”

SC Whitmore School continues to show the state of South Carolina and beyond the positive impact, online learning is having in the lives of hundreds and thousands of young people.

This year, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SCWS hosted a virtual graduation for the first time in school history. Graduates and families were able to tune into the graduation via a shared link and listen to a speech from the Executive Director John Loveday, a commencement message from Today Show Anchor, Craig Melvin, and the graduates officially become alumni of SCWS after Shennice Cleckley, SCWS Board Chair conferred the graduates.

During the spring graduation, SCWS had a total of 95 students graduate. This included more than $700,000 in scholarships from the graduates.

SCWS was excited to award 13 students with a $1,000 merit-based scholarship. These 13 students are classified as Blue Diamond Scholars. The students must earn a minimum GPA of 4.0 in SCWS courses and be enrolled in SCWS for at least one year, in addition to submitting an essay and receiving a recommendation from a teacher.

This year there were also 26 students who graduated high school either one or two years early, compared to the traditional four years of high school. These students included: Sydney Bell, Kathryn Capili, Lilee Cox, Salena Creel, Baylen Creswell, Alyssa Crummy, Janyya Dansby, Alexis Duncan, Emese Estok, Phillip Gettys, Isabella Guthrie, Trinity Hansen, Brittany Hinson, Kaylyn Hinson, Matthew Hyder, Jaden King, Caitlin Long, Alexis Lucarelli, Sabrina McKinney, Natalie Newman, Julia Olsen, Jessica Powers, Carlee Smith, Emma Wetzel, Ashlyn Flowers, and Rylee Burr.

The 2020 SCWS Valedictorian, Rylee Burr was also a Blue Diamond Scholar. Rylee graduated from SCWS with a 5.102 GPA, graduated two years early, and also earned the Science and the Math Academic Excellence Award. After graduation Rylee is planning to work, spend time with family, and continue her education at Midlands Technical College and in the Air Force.

The 2020 SCWS Salutatorian is Ethan Hammond. He graduated from SCWS with a 4.964 GPA and received the Palmetto Fellows Scholarship Award and the Buchanan Fellowship.

SCWS Director of School Counseling, Kim Dunbar, has seen the class of 2020 succeed as students and excel in their virtual education during the coronavirus.

“These seniors really rose to the occasion during such an important and challenging time in their academic careers,” said Dunbar. “I was lucky enough to watch these students during their high school journey and see their hard work pay off. I’m so proud of the class of 2020 for all they have accomplished and the great things they will continue to do.”

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