Schools prepare for graduations


Staff Writer

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Graduation season is beginning for high school seniors in the Twin Counties and several non-traditional schools in the area will hold graduation ceremonies within the next few days.

Rocky Mount Academy will hold its graduation ceremony at 4 p.m. Friday with 44 seniors expected to graduate. This year’s graduation ceremony will be the 49th in the school’s history.

Beth Covolo, head of school at Rocky Mount Academy, said the students have bright futures ahead.

"The members of the Rocky Mount Academy Class of 2019 have distinguished themselves in the classroom, on the field and stage and in the community. As a group, they have contributed over 5,000 hours of service in Rocky Mount and surrounding areas during their high school careers, competed and won on the state level in athletics and garnered $3 million in merit scholarships to attend universities throughout the state and the nation. We could not be more proud of them or more excited to celebrate the outcomes of their life's work at RMA on Friday afternoon,” Covolo said.

Seniors at North East Carolina Preparatory School, Edgecombe County’s only charter school, will graduate at 7 p.m. Friday at the Keihin Auditorium on the Tarboro campus of Edgecombe Community College.

The NECP Class of 2019 includes 45 seniors and has earned a collective $4.8 million in scholarships, said school counselor Amy Robinette.

Robinette is especially proud of the efforts of Class of 2019 Valedictorian Xin Chen and Salutatorian Marco Cisneors-Silva, who have each earned over $1.2 million in scholarships. Chen earned acceptances into 22 institutions and was awarded $1,329,800 in scholarships. Cisneros earned acceptances into 34 institutions and was awarded $1,222,624 in scholarships, Robinette said. Both students plan to attend N.C. State University in the fall.

“As a lifelong resident of our rural eastern NC community, I encourage our students to expand their worldview and to explore all of the educational opportunities that are available,” Robinette said. “Knowing that it was important for Xin and Marco to maximize their options for higher education and to relieve the financial burdens on their families, I encouraged them to research colleges that might be of interest and to submit applications often. The goal was never to earn scholarships — it was to find the best college fit for these seniors.”

New Life Christian Academy will hold its high school graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. Friday, according to the school’s website. A request for more information concerning the ceremony was not answered.

The graduation ceremony for Faith Christian School will be held at 7 p.m. on May 30 at First Baptist Church of Rocky Mount. This will be the school’s 26th graduation ceremony and 36 seniors are expected to turn the tassel.

Head of School Erik Harris said he is both proud and thankful for these graduates.

“We are grateful for the class of 2019 and are proud of their many accomplishments. This class holds many individual accomplishments both academically and athletically, ranging from a National Merit Scholarship finalist to multiple athletic championships. We thank the class of 2019 for the excellence in which they have performed in the classroom, on the athletic field and in the arts, and we are excited to see how the Lord may use them in the next phase of life,” Harris said.

Rocky Mount Preparatory School, Nash County’s only charter school, will hold its graduation ceremony at 6 p.m. on May 31 at the Dunn Center at N.C. Wesleyan College. Roughly 69 students are expected to graduate in the school’s 15th graduation ceremony. So far, these students have earned more than $559,000 in scholarship money.

Todd Pipkin, head of Rocky Mount Prep, said he is impressed with this year’s graduates.

“We truly have an exceptional group of upcoming graduates. They have a strong desire and determination to succeed. There is a big, bright world waiting for them. I am confident that they are going to achieve amazing things and I look forward to following life’s journey for each of them.”