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Philip Simmons High prepares its first-ever senior class for graduation

Published on Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019

Philip Simmons High prepares its first-ever senior class.

BCSD photo / Monica Kreber

Number of years Philip Simmons High has been open: 2

Number of seniors in the class of 2020: 82

Number of days since the first day of school: 99

Number of days until Graduation Day: 188

Philip Simmons High opened its doors to students in 2017. At the time, there was not yet a senior class; the brand new school welcomed rising ninth and 10th-graders on the first day of school.

Now those 10th-graders are gearing up for an honor not many high school classes get to claim: being the first to graduate from Philip Simmons High next spring. June 1, 2020 is the big day.

Principal Anthony Dixon said the Huger, Wando, Cainhoy corridor has advocated for a high school ever since Cainhoy High closed.

“I think having it back, the students feel like they’re leaving…the legacy of being that reunion class,” he said.

Dixon opened Philip Simmons Middle before coming to the high school. He said when the high school opened there was a buzz about having graduations and athletics back in the community – something the community “could call their own.”

“It was excitement, it was nostalgic…there was a lot of mixed emotions, but they were all great,” he said.

Dixon knows a lot of the students since their elementary days when he previously worked in some of the local feeder schools.

Some of the students he has known since they were in first grade.

“Just knowing their families, knowing them…I think it’s been an honor and a very unique experience that many don’t have, and I’m just glad to be a part of their lives in that capacity,” he said.

Dixon encourages his students to remember the amount of family and community that was created with the high school.

“So many people put in a lot for them and I want them to be able to come back and give back to their community, and just be successful so they can continue to be proud,” he said.

Philip Simmons High prepares its first-ever senior class.                                                  

BCSD photo / Monica Kreber 

Now certain things are starting to sink in for the seniors: eventually they will have their last football game. They will have their last prom and they will have their last pep rally.

“I think it’s sinking in that they’re about to graduate and they’ve met this mark,” he said. “Of course, if they were at another school they would’ve been going through the same milestones but just being that first group makes it very special for them.”

The seniors have already done a few things in the first half of the year. They have voted on senior superlatives, and the class most recently came together Nov. 19 to take their class photo for the yearbook. Seniors who earned titles in the senior superlatives also got their pictures taken.

Senior class president Adrionna Moore, and one of the students voted “best dressed, said her class wants to leave a legacy that says they were very “in tune” with the school and loved how new was.

Since the school opened, Moore said the schools developed a lot of new programs and clubs, making the seniors “the leaders of a lot of things.”

“It was just like a breath of fresh air,” she said.

Moore said her class showed “we as high schoolers can do anything, and nothing is too big for us.”

Student body president Anthony Jackson echoed similar thoughts, saying being the first class to leave a legacy at the schools is “a blessing.”

“We want to leave a culture that builds and encourages confidence in future students,” he said. “We want to have a big family where we can just support one another and help each other achieve our goals.”

Jackson was one of the students voted “class clown”. Jackson said he will miss the family he has formed at the school.

“Whether it be from the football team, from wrestling…or just in my classes, I have a lot of family here,” he said. “I have a lot of family here and I’m going to miss it.”

Kyra Dickerson, one of the students voted “most likely to be Instagram famous” as well as “most changed since freshman year,” said she would like to leave a legacy of not being afraid to be one’s self around other people.

“I’m going to miss the teachers because the teachers here are very motivational and they really care about their students here,” she said.

She said it is an honor to be a part of the first class graduating from the school – “because I don’t even know anyone else who can say they’ve been a part of something so big and major like this.”

Philip Simmons High prepares its first-ever senior class.

BCSD photo / Monica Kreber

The superlative winners for Philip Simmons High’s first graduating class are as follows:

Biggest flirt:

Jaylen Green

Thalia Wilson

Most changed since freshman year:

Kiamani Denmark

Kyra Dickerson

Worse case of senioritis:

Jason Bartlett

Ashlen Richardson

Most like an FBI agent:

Travez Gray-Wright

Riley Anderson

Most school spirit:

Griffin Williams

Shay Singleton

Most talkative:

Paul Washington

Peyton Long

Most likely to be late to class:

D’Montary Moore

Kaylin Bess

Most likely to be Instagram famous:

Tyquez Ladson

Kyra Dickerson

Best dressed:

Solomon Bess

Adrionna Moore

Most likely to brighten your day:

Keyshawn Lockwood

Jessica Rendon

Most creative:

Connor Manning

Afua Lincoln

Class clown:

Anthony Jackson

Keara Lincoln

Monica Kreber