By Devese “Dee” Ursery
Collinsville High School is preparing its seniors to take the ceremonial walk across the stage this weekend, as after a long journey their high school education comes to an end.
Approximately 475 Kahoks will be receiving diplomas, at the Collinsville High School graduation ceremony at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 13, in the school’s auditorium. Speeches will be given by Valedictorian Adelyn Johnson and Salutatorian Elizabeth Martin, respectively.
Besides other programs planned for the graduation ceremony; there will be an Honors Convocation at 7 p.m on May 10, to celebrate the graduating students’ academic achievements.
Dr. Daniel Toberman, principal for the high school explained that the road to graduation is long, but it is a very special and momentous event.
“As students embark on the next phase of their lives, I want to wish them luck,” Toberman said. “I would also remind them to remember the dedication it took to get this far; they will need that and more in order to achieve their life goals.”
CHS also holds its annual Academic Signing Day, where students announce the next step in their academic careers. The 2023 Academic Signing Day took place on April 25, as 54 students receiving over $1.6 million in academic scholarships disclosed what colleges they are going to attend. The event also gives students a chance to introduce those who guided and mentored them along the way.
Kimberly Collins, public relations liaison for Collinsville Community Unit School District 10, stated by email that the school’s signing day was established in 2013. It was created by Karen Olsen, chairperson for the CHS counseling department because students were not getting recognized for their academic prowess like their athletic counterparts.
Academic Signing Day is modeled after athletic signing events and represents only scholarship money given by the student’s chosen institution – it does not include private scholarship money.
Participation in Academic Signing Day is by choice, the total money represented that day does not reflect scholarships earned by students who do not turn in information for signing day.
Dr. Brad Skertich, superintendent for CUSD 10 said he and the rest of staff look forward to seeing what tomorrow presents for the destiny of this crop of graduating Kahoks.
“We are excited about what the future holds for the Collinsville High School Class of 2023,” Skertich said. “ We look forward to seeing your many accomplishments in the years to come.” Skertich continued, “Congratulations and don’t ever forget… Once a Kahok, always a Kahok!”