Wynne High School celebrates graduation amid stressful year

Published: May. 20, 2023 at 10:04 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WYNNE, Ark. (KAIT) - The Wynne High School Class of 2023 celebrated graduation on Saturday night.

The moment came after a tornado destroyed the school on March 31. For many, it was a day they didn’t know would come.

“Just to be here today is a blessing in itself because, you know, I actually thought they would just pass out the diplomas and just call it quits, but here we are today,” said Kim Smith.

Kim Smith’s cousin Tyriona Davis was among the graduates who lost her home during the tornado, and today, she walked the stage, diploma in hand.

Davis’ story resembles many students in Wynne.

Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who gave the commencement address, noted the resilience of the class of 2023.

“You’re not just an inspiration to your community; you’re an inspiration to the entire state of Arkansas,” Sanders said.

Huckabee Sanders has visited the school twice since the March 31 tornado. Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Moore noted what her presence at graduation meant.

“I think it shows how much she cares about our kids and about public education and seeing our students graduate, and so we’re very excited, and we don’t have the words to tell her how thankful we truly are,” he said.

The nearly 200 graduates had to move to a college campus to finish school, their prom was held in a different county, and graduation was an hour away from home, but the moment was priceless.

“Each child should experience, you know, walking across the stage and getting their diplomas so my hat goes off to the school,” said Smith.