Richmond high school graduations start Tuesday

6/5/2015, 11:35 p.m. | Updated on 6/5/2015, 11:35 p.m.
Break out the caps and gowns. It’s graduation time in Richmond.

Break out the caps and gowns. It’s graduation time in Richmond.

Excited seniors are counting down the days to their commencement and earning diplomas marking the finish of 13 years of education that began in kindergarten — and the start of the next chapter of their lives.

This year, Richmond Public Schools will only hold individual school ceremonies for a total of 1,209 students earning diplomas.

The big convocation that took place in the past has been scrapped this year “due to a steady decline in participation by our graduates and their families,” according to RPS spokeswoman Cletisha Lovelace.

Superintendent Dana T. Bedden made the decision after consulting with principals, 2015 student class officers and parents, Ms. Lovelace said.

Here is the upcoming graduation schedule by date, place and school:

Tuesday, June 9 Location: Altria Theater, Laurel and Main streets

Noon — George Wythe High School, 217 graduates. Commencement speaker: Timothy Mallory, RPS chief of safety and security. Valedictory address: Devin Evans.

3 p.m. — Armstrong High School, 212 graduates. Commencement speaker: Andre Charles, valedictorian.

6 p.m. — Huguenot High School, 278 graduates. Commencement speaker: The Rev. Roscoe D. Cooper III, pastor, Rising Mount Zion Baptist Church.

Wednesday, June 10 Location: Altria Theater, Laurel and Main streets

Noon — Richmond Community High School, 33 graduates. Commencement speaker: Kimberly Bridges of the Virginia Department of Education and former Richmond School Board member.

3 p.m. — Thomas Jefferson High School, 225 graduates. Commencement speaker: Ervin Johnson, founder and director, DreamMakers Academy.

6 p.m. — John Marshall High School, 160 graduates. Commencement speaker: The Rev. Tyrone Nelson, pastor, Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, and member, Henrico County Board of Supervisors.

Thursday, June 11

Location: Maymont Park, Garden Hall, 1700 Hampton St.

11 a.m. — Amelia Street School, 1 graduate.

Location: Dr. Allix B. James Chapel, Coburn Hall, Virginia Union University

1:30 p.m. — Open High School, 48 graduates. Commencement speaker: Isabel Waters, valedictorian.

4 p.m. — Franklin Military Academy, 35 graduates. Commencement speakers: Cadet 2nd Lt. Mia Noel, valedictorian; Cadet Maj. Jade Lawson, salutatorian; and Cadet Maj. Keara Dean, battalion executive officer.

Separately, 83 participants in the Richmond Alternative School were awarded GEDs or high school equivalency degrees Tuesday, June 2, at a regional ceremony at Glen Allen High School in Henrico County.