James Clemens High School’s ‘First’ Graduation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - Thousands of men and women in the Tennessee Valley are about to see their lives change. May 20th marked the first day of high school graduation week. Madison's James Clemens High School is the first school on the schedule.

The Von Braun Center might be a big place for a small group of graduates. The size of the group does not take away from their worth.

"We feel like we've had a group that's set a foundation. We feel like they've set a very strong foundation. We're just here to build upon that foundation," said Principal Dr. Brian Clayton.

Graduation rehearsal allowed 87 seniors to get comfortable in a big room, learn their places and make adjustments to every part of the program. Dr. Clayton didn't want to miss a step and his team didn't want to miss calling a graduate's name. The Class of 2013 is the first for James Clemens.

"It feels great because when you look back in history and in the books, you will say, I was with that class. You can prove it by saying you have a ring and picture," said Graduate Alexis Williams.

"The conversations and speeches that we are saying tonight are not going to be like any other school," said Graduate Donald Lorbecke.

Dr. Clayton added, "We've had more firsts than a lot of other places and we've had them all this year."

More than 1000 students go to James Clemens. The principal expects the number to jump to 1500 next year. He believes the future jets will be in good hands.

"We set the standard, the traditions and all of the things we do. We set it," added Lorbecke.

The school had some big accomplishments in its first year. A counselor told WHNT NEWS 19 the graduates accumulated close to one million dollars in college scholarships.

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