With the painting of Senior Hill in the rearview mirror, Neosho High School seniors are looking forward to their final week of secondary education.

Darren Cook, NHS principal, said the next event for the pre-graduates is the senior reception, with their parents, at 6:30 p.m. next Wednesday, May 14, in the high school cafeteria, with baccalaureate services at 7:30 in the gym featuring NHS choir teacher Jacob Oakes as the speaker. Those events follow the last day of classes for seniors next Wednesday.

Cook said senior awards will be presented at 8:15 a.m. on May 15, when the senior counselor recognizes the members of the senior class for certain scholarships they have received or any kind of awards they have received for grades during their senior year. He said each awarded student will be called to the front for recognition.

 “For instance,” said Cook, “they called me up there and I got A-plus, I got a scholarship to Missouri State, they list all my accomplishments in my senior year when it comes to academics. And then they present me any certificates that they are giving me; and they do that for every senior who turns something in. So it’s just a way to recognize the seniors for their hard work in front of their peers and their parents.”

Following the awards presentation, Cook said the senior assembly begins about 9:45 a.m., for which the senior class has chosen Rebecca Olivares, English teacher, to speak. He said the senior class president and student body president will also speak, and then the student of the year will be recognized, as well as those students that received academic awards.

“Be it summa cum laude, magna cum laude or cum laude, we’ll recognize them and give them a cord that they’ll wear at graduation to signify that accomplishment,” Cook said.

Graduation is planned for 7:30 p.m. next Friday evening, May 16, in Bob Anderson Stadium. Cook said seniors have already received their allotment of seven tickets to distribute to family and friends in the event

commencement exercises are forced inside to the gym by inclement weather.
“Graduation is a little bit quicker now actually,” Cook said. “The band plays the senior song and then Sydney Angel, one of our history teachers, is going to give the address, and then I present the class and then Mr. (R-5 school board president Brett) Day will accept the class and then we give out diplomas, and then we recess.”

Cook hopes to reopen the Senior Hill section of Hill St. to traffic following graduation next Friday night. Normally painted on the final week of school for the seniors leading up to graduation, he said the senior artists were set free to post their creations on the street early this year, because of the possibility of threatening weather early next week, and because of some testing the seniors are undergoing. The street is normally reopened at the end of graduation weekend, and Cook is hopeful the city will allow that section of Hill St. to remain closed until after the graduation ceremonies.