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May 18, 2013

Central High graduates largest senior class in school's history

EMPIRE —  It is not often that one graduating class can make history multiple times in one evening.

But, for the Central High class of 2013, that’s exactly what they did Friday night inside Broncho Gymnasium.

A total of 47 students, the largest class in CHS history, walked the stage to receive their diplomas, while seven students received the distinction of being named valedictorian.

Sydney Culp, Kaylee Deforest, Jeromy Knapp, Lora-Lynn Loomis, Christa Sparks, Jarrett Sparks, and Kristin Whisenhunt graced the stage reading Dr. Seuss’ classic tale Oh, the Places You’ll Go as their speech to the standing room only crowd. The moment was made extra special for brother/sister duo Christa and Jarrett Sparks, getting to be named as award winners together.  

“It feels great being named one of the valedictorians,” Christa said. “I wouldn’t want to spend this with anyone else. I love my class and I’m very proud to be a Broncho. We hope everyone enjoyed our speech because we had a lot of fun with it. I’m very proud of Jarrett, he’s worked very hard for this award and deserves it.”

Both Jarrett and Christa were also awarded numerous scholarships on the evening, with Jarrett receiving the Central High Alumni Association scholarship, and Christa being named the BancFirst Scholarship award winner.

“It’s pretty exciting to be apart of the biggest class ever,” Jarrett said. “Being one of the seven valedictorians luckily made my speech a lot smaller because I was so nervous about speaking. I’ve always competed with Christa through school, but I’m glad we were able to share the honor together.”

In total, the class of 2013 combined to receive a total of $804,124 dollars in scholarship money.

Dallin Ferrin and Shellie Marney were named salutatorians for the Class of 2013.

“This diploma means so much to me,” Ferrin said. “I’ve developed a pretty good connection with a lot of people in the community. You can just feel the love this class has for one another and the community, and the people return it to us. All the hard work we have put in has paid off for us. I’ll definitely miss the support of the community and basketball season with head coach John Nease for sure.”

Before the students received their diplomas, Aleia Daniels graced the stage and sang Miley Cyrus’ “Wherever I Go,” along with the rose ceremony in which members of the Class of 2013 handed out yellow roses to their respective friends and family members.

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