HHS senior banquet, commencement set
Ken McLemore, Hope Public Schools

HOPE – End-of-year beginnings are set for various campuses of the Hope Public Schools through May, starting with senior awards and commencement exercises for the Hope High School Class of 2016.

HHS senior students will be recognized for academic achievement during the annual Senior Awards Banquet at Hempstead Hall on the University of Arkansas Hope-Texarkana campus here May 12. “Your Adventure Awaits” is the theme for this year’s academic honors celebration which will feature the presentation of 2016 HHS honor graduates, and the awarding of HHS Faculty Awards, National Honor Society stoles, HHS Completer Cords and LifeShare donor cords.

Faculty awards will include the Beryl Henry Award recognizing the outstanding senior in leadership and academics; the Irma Dean Award recognizing the senior who made the most of opportunities offered while at HHS; the James H. Jones Award to the senior boy and senior girl who demonstrated outstanding leadership and character; and, the American Legion Citizenship Award given to the senior boy and senior girl demonstrating unique citizenship qualities while at HHS.

Local businesses and organizations, as well as colleges and universities are also typically represented at the banquet to honor scholarship and other award recipients, advisor Jill Self said.

“Tickets are now on sale through next Tuesday in my room (204) or Mrs. VanCamp’s room (203),” Self said. “Tickets must be purchased in advance and no tickets will be sold at the door.”

Serving opens at 5:30 p.m., and Sheba’s Family Restaurant will cater the meal, she said.

“Thanks to a generous donation from the HHS Parental Involvement Facilitator, Janet Banister, tickets are only $6 each this year,” Self said.

A gridiron legend at HHS will deliver the senior charge to the Class of 2016 during commencement ceremonies at 7 p.m., May 13 at Hempstead Hall.

Retired head Bobcat football coach Johnny Turner will deliver the charge to the senior candidates for graduation.

Turner is an alumnus of HHS, graduating in 1971, after beginning his high school education at the former Yerger High School, and he went on to become an educator in the Hope Public Schools for 38 years. As a student in the Hope Public Schools, Turner participated in football, track and baseball.

While studying education at what is now Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, Turner was active in Omega Psi Phi service fraternity, and he remains active in the community today as a deacon of Union Missionary Baptist Church, the Brotherhood of Fulton, and Ambrosia Lodge No. 24, where he served as junior deacon.

Turner received his Bachelor of Science in Education degree with a specialization in secondary physical education in 1975. He began teaching in the Hope Public Schools at Garland Elementary School before teaching seventh and eighth grade career orientation, social studies and physical education.

Turner has served as seventh and eighth grade basketball coach, assistant varsity football coach, head eighth grade track coach, assistant varsity basketball coach, and head ninth grade football coach. He became varsity secondary and offensive backs coach at HHS; then, served as offensive coordinator for the Bobcats before becoming interim and head football coach at HHS.

Turner is a member of the Arkansas Education Association, National Education Association, and National Federation of High School Coaches; and, he has been named a lifetime member of the Arkansas Coaches Association.

Turner and his wife, Terri, are the parents of two children, Jonathan and Sarah Turner, both of whom currently teach in the Hope Public Schools, where Jonathan is also on the HHS Bobcat coaching staff.

Beryl Henry Elementary School sixth grade students will be formally promoted in graduation ceremonies May 24 in the school cafetorium in two sessions at 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

And, Clinton Primary School kindergarten students will be graduated into first grade in ceremonies at 5:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. on May 23 in the CPS cafetorium.