JPS resumes in-person commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021

Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 7:20 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - Tuesday was the day many Jackson high school seniors worked for and dreamed about, graduation day!

Jackson Public School Commencement Ceremonies will continue Wednesday at the Mississippi Coliseum, spreading out the events to reduce crowds.

The challenging year for Murrah High School seniors ended on a high note with in-person commencement ceremonies, a return to normal the students feared would not happen.

Murrah is the first school in the district to hold graduation ceremonies for the Class of 2021, awarding 279 diplomas.

”Understand the importance of this moment,” said JPS Superintendent Dr. Errick Green in his address to the class. “This opportunity for you to mark this time and use it as a stepping stone to your next greatest accomplishment”.

”My whole education and all my successes are coming to a point in where I’ve been thinking about my whole life,” said Murrah High School graduate Benjamin Davis. The 18-year-old plans to attend Xavier University in Louisiana, majoring in electrical engineering.

”I think our class has a lot to offer. People like me going out of state and hopefully coming back, bringing what we’ve learned and adding more to Jackson,” said Davis. “Because Jackson needs a lot of help with new entrepreneurs and businesses. So I think we’ve got a lot in store.”

With new diploma in hand, Saryah Jones shared her plans to enroll in the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall to study dance.

”I just want to say congratulations to all of the graduates of 2021,” said Jones. “We did it even though there were many trials and tribulations. We still got our diplomas.”

The class overcame the obstacles of virtual and hybrid learning, while coping during a pandemic to set the course for their futures. They agree the year was difficult, but they persevered.

”It was a different experience, but I got through it,” said Jamal Lewis, who will major in computer science at Hinds Community College. “It was hard, but we did it. We did it. We did it.”

Mykaylia Jimmerson will also attend Hinds Community College to pursue a career in nursing.

”It was really hard with all the Zoom calls and everything. It was, but we got through it,” said Jimmerson. “This one is for the books and we’re the best class, and, yeah, we did that, period.”

“My charge for you today is to go into the world with all your ambitions, find that inspire you and seize them with the confidence that you have the ability to succeed,” said Hanna Bengten, Valedictorian.

There are 1,224 graduates in the district. More than $21,304,000 in scholarships were awarded throughout the seven high schools.

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