JACKSON COUNTY - Commencement exercises for the Classes of 2017 at Ravenswood High School and Ripley High School are both set for Friday evening: RvHS ceremonies at 6 p.m. at Flinn Field; and RpHS exercises at 8 p.m. at Memorial Stadium.


At Ravenswood

A total of 79 members of the RvHS Class of 2017 will march onto Flinn Field at 6 p.m. through the traditional Daisy Chain held by Junior Class girls.

Erin Burks, daughter of James and Toni Burks, is Class Valedictorian, and will attend Bowling Green State University to major in Performance Music.

Burks has participated in band and all vocal ensembles including Rave Revue show choir. She served as co-president of Rave Revue her senior year, won soloist awards, performed as a state recital soloist twice and played Fiona in Shrek The Musical on the RvHS Auditorium stage. She played tennis all four years, the last two at No. 2 Singles and as part of the No. 1 Doubles team advancing to the state tournament both years. 

Her academic accomplishments include three years of Math Field Day competition, advancing to regionals her senior year; Quiz and Science Bowl, serving as captain her junior year; numerous awards; and National Honor Society membership.  

Erin will be one of the four graduation speakers Friday on the theme: “A Light in the Darkness,” speaking last on “Night-light.”

Dylan Henry, son of Dale and Rebecca Henry, is Class Salutatorian, and will attend West Virginia University to major in Aerospace and mechanical Engineering.

Henry has participated in many school sports including soccer and track. He has not only maintained a high GPA, but has done so while helping others through his community service. His list of community service activities include a wide variety of RESA activities, along with volunteering at the local library. He was also the candidate selected from Ravenswood High School to attend the Governor’s Honors Academy.

Class of 2017 member Chancelar Mayle will welcome the parents, families and guests to RvHS Commencement.

Graduation speakers on the theme of “A Light in the Darkness” will include Class of 2017 members, Grace Weekley (“Candle”), Andrew Banton (“Bonfire”), Erica Green (“Lighthouse”) and Erin Burks (“Night-light”).

The Ravenswood High School/Middle School Band will present the musical selection, “Walking to the Sky” by composer Robert Buckley.

Class of 2017 member R. Kelton Bowers will close the ceremonies with words of inspiration.


RvHS Class of 2017

Motto: Omni Fine Novum (At Every End Comes a New Beginning)

Flower: Sunflower

Song: Don’t You (Forget About Me) by Simpleminds

Colors: Red, Silver and Black


At Ripley

The Ripley High School Class of 2017 numbering some 228 will march into Memorial Stadium for Commencement exercises at 8 p.m. Friday.

Class of 2017 member Ryan Neil will welcome parents, families and guests.

Class Valedictorian is Lauren Hopper, daughter of Rob and Kara Hopper.

A Lady Viking soccer player, Lauren was also a member of the Viking Marching Band and Ripley High School Student Council. She will attend West Virginia University to major in Biochemistry.

Class Salutatorian is Jeri Patterson, daughter of Dawn Patterson and  Mike Patterson, was a member of the Lady Viking track and basketball teams and the RpHS Honor Bowl.

Jeri will attend West Virginia University to major in Forensic Biology with plans for a PhD.

Hopper and Patterson will be the keynote speakers at Ripley Commencemnt, delivering the Valedictorian and Salutation addresses respectively.

Musical selections by the Ripley High School Chorus and Band are typically part of the ceremony.

Class of 2017 member Sarah Victory will offer closing remarks.