Benton to graduate 331 tonight at Stephens Center

Josh Briggs
Managing Editor

Tonight, 331 Benton High School seniors will be honored at the Jack-Stephens Center on the campus of the University of Arkansas–Little Rock when graduation ceremonies get underway.
Festivities are set to begin at 7 p.m.

This year’s class features 80 honor graduates who have all earned at least a 3.5 grade point average and collectively have accepted more than $6.4 million in scholarships, according to Curt Barger, high school principal.

“Most schools will calculate the amount of scholarships that were offered,” Barger said. “We don’t do that because some of these kids have applied for scholarships at multiple colleges and will get hundreds of thousands of dollars offered to them, but will not accept it all.
“That is one of the coolest things and that is a lot of money,” he added.

Among the honor graduates are 19 summa cum laude recipients, who are students who have earned the highest educational distinction and at least a 4.0 grade point average.

Those students include:
•Lila Buchanan
•Taylor Cochran
•Joanna Dixon
•Austin Dorman
•Emme Edmondson
•Will Guerra
•Caleb Harmon
•Katie Harmon
•Matthew Howard
•Gracie Jones
•Catherine Nolte
•Aaron Norris
•Caleb Renfroe
•Westin Riddick
•Travonté Schacht
•Preston Stone
•Alexis Taylor
•Laura Warner
•Quinten Wells

This year’s class is extra-special for Barger since it is the first group to graduate during his tenure as high school principal, and the students also were his first group of freshmen when he became junior high principal.

“This is my first graduation class, but they were actually my first group of ninth-graders when I came to Benton,” Barger said. “They are a group that I have been with twice. That is special to me.”

Also featured in the class of 2017 are five sets of twins.