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2013 Grads Zackery Jordan “Jordy” Jenkins, Casey Tolson, Diana Perez and Miguel Monter

Ocracoke School launched four seniors during graduation cer­emonies in the school gym.

Valedictorian was Zackery Jordan “Jordy” Jenkins, who is a commercial fisherman and will attend the College of the Albe­marle in the fall. He received $4,562 in scholarships.

Casey Camden Tolson was the salutatorian and begins work immediately with the NC Ferry Division as well as com­mercial fishing. He received the National Career Readiness Certificate, an industry-based honor from the governor that certifies workplace skills for students immediately entering the workplace.

Diana Perez will attend East Carolina University in the fall and will pursue a ca­reer in the medical field. She received $16,162 in scholar­ships, including the $10,000 People Helping People State Employment Credit Union scholarship.

Miguel Monter will work in the kitchen at Gaffer’s.

“He’s going to be a won­derful chef someday,” said Laura Kelly, school princi­pal in an interview Monday about the four-member class and added that Perez is con­sidering becoming a doctor.

Kelly recently announced her resignation at the end of June and will return to Frank­lin County to work in the school system there and be closer to her extended family.

“They’re all really won­derful,” Kelly said about the seniors and the Ocracoke school children she has got­ten to know this school year.

“This is an awesome place and it holds a special place in my heart,” she said, “but there’s a two-year-old grandson who’s calling my name.”

Kelly noted that while the Class of 2013 had only four stu­dents, classes behind them are growing, such as pre-K, which will have 18 students in the fall, among the largest classes ever for Ocracoke. There were 19 stu­dents in eighth grade this year, which would have been the larg­est class ever, but that dropped down to 18 during the year. Both first and ninth grades will have 17 children.

The elementary building be­hind the main school building has classrooms large enough for all these students, “but we’re go­ing to need to grow,” Kelly said.

One of those options will probably be the building owned by the Hyde County School District that currently houses the Ocracoke Volunteer Fire Department, which will move into new quarters being built along Highway 12.

Walter Padgett, the school principal for two years before Kelly, was the commencement speaker and Kelly and Dr. Ran­dolph Latimore, superinten­dent of Hyde County schools, awarded the diplomas.

The Howard Bennink, a teacher at Ocracoke School received the Community Ser­vice Award, a tradition by Oc­racoke seniors conferred on a community member.

Diana Perez created the slide show of class memories

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