Nixa High School 2020 ceremony for military-bound graduates

NIXA PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT GEARL LODEN led 10 members of the Nixa High School class of 2020 in a ceremonial cap toss after a special ceremony honoring graduates entering branches of the U.S. armed forces May 13, 2020.

Nixa High School held a special graduation for members of the class of 2020 headed into training as new members of the U.S. armed forces.

One by one, each graduate entered the auditorium to “Pomp and Circumstance” as the attendees stood and applauded. Graduates received their diplomas and posed for photographs, then left the stage to make way for the next honoree.

Nixa High School Principal David Kelly shared a bit of information about each graduate, including their military plans and for most, their college plans.

Their backgrounds and future plans differ greatly. Ariel Sheckley will attend the United States Naval Academy and plans to purse a career in intelligence. Kindell Smith intends to become a blackhawk helicopter pilot in the U.S. Army. Phong Vo, born in Vietnam, moved to the United States with his family when he was 10 months old. He enlisted in the Kansas National Guard and leaves for basic training in late June. He will then study at Wichita State University.

While their plans differ, Nixa’s graduates honored May 13 share one common quality: their willingness to risk so much in order to serve their country.

In effort to encourage public health safety and social distancing, Nixa High School did not open the ceremony to the public. Family members and administrators of graduates were allowed to attend. The event was broadcast on the internet on CityLink TV.

Nixa High School class of 2020 armed forces honorees

Hunter Christeson, National Guard

Kyle Deterding, National Guard

Sophie Fleming, Navy

Colin Miller, National Guard

Michael Miller, National Guard

Colter Schartel, National Guard

Ariel Sheckley, Navy

Kindell Smith, Army

Phong Vo, National Guard

Ariana Wolfe, Navy

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