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RH valedictorian too close to call says principal

At the close of the 2016 Senior Honors Night at Richmond Hill High School Monday, Principal Debi McNeal specifically addressed five members from the top 5 percent of the graduating class — Charles Castle, Huntyr Menezes, DaMarcus Patterson, Veronica Thompson and Kevin Zhu — and gave them one final assignment.

“Start on that speech now,” she said.

 McNeal said that with less than two weeks left before commencement, it is still statistically impossible to determine the valedictorian and salutatorian, and hence who will speak at the May 21 ceremony. Final exams are May 19 and 20.

 “I am truly humbled to be the principal of such a high-performing school,” she said.

The rest of the top 5 percent from a graduating class of more than 400 are: Alexis Arai, Jacquelyn Buelow, Ashley Callahan, Matthew DeMond, Zachary Glasscock, Rachel Hammesfahr, Austin Overby, Dylan Rice, James Rymer, Rachel Shepherd, Corinna Shimalla, Sarah Smith, Logan Strickland, William Wallace, Brianna Wathen, Brittany Williams and Amanda Worden.

Aside from departmental honors, several groups were on hand to give out annual scholarship awards.

Richmond Hill Lions Club Scholarship: Jackie Buelow

Richmond Hill Lions Club Frank Cisco Memorial Grant: Kevin Zhu

Star Student: Kevin Zhu

Capt. Matthew Freeman Memorial Scholarship: Diana Wilson

Richmond Hill Masons’ Club Scholarship: Amanda Worden

Katie Brookshire Memorial Scholarship: Bayley George

Richmond Hill Garden Club Scholarship: Madison Vargas

Richmond Hill Exchange Club Student of the Year Scholarship: Jackie Buelow

Lucy Long Scholarship: William Wallace, Kevin Zhu, Bayley George, Haley Smith

Coastal Electric Cooperative Foundation Scholarship: Duncan Hill and Diana Wilson

Southcoast Health Pediatrics Scholarship: Allison Benson

Omega Psi Fraternity Scholarship: Isaiah Hill

RHHS Homerun Club Scholarship: Zach Haines

Alan Morris Music for Youth Scholarship: Chase Burmester

American Red Cross Scholarship: Corinna Shimalla and Bayley George

Awards nominated and voted on by the faculty were:

RHHS Citizenship Award: DaMarcus Patterson

RHHS Leadership Award: Corinna Shimalla

RHHS Student of the Year Award: Kevin Zhu

 “As chair of the honors committee, I find it rewarding to help recognize a class of hard-working, dedicated students at Richmond Hill High School,” said Jennifer Kea, who also is chair of the social studies department. “Many of the students honored strive for excellence in and out of the classroom.”

Bryan County High School’s Honors Day is scheduled for Friday morning. Coverage will be posted Friday afternoon. Be sure to see the 2016 graduation special section in the May 19 Bryan County News.

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