Battle High School Awards its First Two Diplomas

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COLUMBIA - Battle High School welcomed 1,100 students in the fall and awarded its first diplomas Thursday, two to be exact. Despite the small number of graduates, administrators held a graduation ceremony on the front lawn of the school for students Ashley Popham and Jason McCloud.

"For these two, it's a great accomplishment, it's a great milestone in their life," Dr. Kim Presko, Battle High School Principal, said. "So I think we need to ceremonialize that for them. This is our first graduating class, so it has a special meaning for these two individuals but also for our school."

Popham was able to graduate early by taking a combination of summer and online courses.

"It's very exciting, very surreal," Popham said. "I think it's just going to be exciting, going onto the next step of life."

Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Belcher attended the ceremony and commended Battle's first graduates.

"We want to recognize every child for graduating," Belcher said. "It doesn't matter what school they came from or how large or small their graduating class is. We'll have Douglass High School tomorrow graduate with 100 and Rock Bridge tonight will graduate 600, so two is just another number and they worked hard for 13 years. They deserve the recognition and the honor."

Next year Battle will hold its fist full ceremony for approximately 300 students. Rock Bridge held its graduation ceremony Thursday evening, while Douglass and Hickman will hold theirs Friday.