UPDATE: Graduation guide for Columbia high schools

Thursday, May 22, 2014 | 6:00 a.m. CDT; updated 2:25 p.m. CDT, Thursday, May 22, 2014

UPDATE: This story has been updated to include the number of graduates from Rock Bridge, Douglass and Hickman high schools, as well as the names of valedictorians from Rock Bridge and Hickman.

COLUMBIA — High school seniors and nontraditional students are preparing to graduate this weekend and next.

Fr. Tolton and Battle high schools are both graduating their first class of graduates, with 17 and two graduates, respectively.

"Our mascot is the Trailblazers, so these kids really are the trailblazers," said Kristie Wolfe, president and principal at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School. "They are our first-ever seniors."

Michelle Baumstark, a spokeswoman for Columbia Public Schools, said graduates typically exceed state averages in pursuing higher education. In 2013, 72.2 percent of graduating seniors went on to two- or four-year institutions, compared with the state average of 68.5 percent.

"In general, we're always really proud of the accomplishments of our students,"Baumstark said. "This graduating class is no different in that they have accomplished a lot of wonderful things this year."

Barbie Banks, coordinator of the adult learning center for Columbia Public Schools, said 35 students will earn a GED this year.

"It's kind of a unique graduation in that it looks and feels kind of like a high school graduation, but a lot of graduates are different ages and come from different backgrounds," Banks said. "Sometimes you'll have mothers and daughters or brothers and sisters graduating together."

Banks encouraged residents to attend the graduations, even if they don't know anyone graduating.

"It's really inspirational," she said.

Battle High School

  • Graduating class size: 2
  • When: 5 p.m. Thursday
  • Where: Battle High School Outdoor Amphitheater (rain location: PAC), 7575 Saint Charles Road

Rock Bridge High School:

  • Graduating class size: 578
  • Valedictorians: Salah Daghlas, Samantha Ding, Sophi Farid, Karina Kitchen, David Mellitt, Breta Phillips, Manal Salim, Daniel Shapiro, Katy Shi, Rujie (Jenny) Yao, Joanna Zhang
  • When: 7 p.m. Thursday
  • Where: Mizzou Arena, 1 Champions Drive No. 200

Columbia Independent School

  • When: 7 p.m. Thursday
  • Where: Columbia Performing Arts Center, 100 N. Cedar Lake Drive

Frederick Douglass High School

  • Graduating class size: 92

  • When: 10 a.m. Friday
  • Where: Missouri Theatre, 203 S. Ninth St.

Fr. Tolton Regional Catholic High School:

  • Graduating class size: 17
  • Valedictorian: Michael Burke
  • When: 6 p.m. Friday
  • Where: School Commons, 3351 E. Gans Road

Hickman High School:

  • Graduating class size: 530
  • Valedictorians: Callie Bassett, Diana Harmata, Dylan Hosmer-Quint, Mingu Kim, Ashwath Kumar, Matthew Peterson, Andy Sun, Joanna Zou
  • When: 7 p.m. Friday
  • Where: Mizzou Arena, 1 Champions Drive No. 200

Adult GED/HiSET (High School Equivalency Test):

  • Graduating class size: 35
  • Honor Society members: 10
  • When: 1:30 p.m. May 31
  • Where: Jesse Auditorium, 311 Jesse Hall

Supervising editor is Mary Ryan.

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