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Congratulations Class of 2019

Midland Valley High graduate Lauren Shoup received her second diploma Friday exactly one month after receiving her first.

On May 7, Shoup, 18, received a diploma and an associate degree from Aiken Technical College through Aiken County Public Schools' Early College program. Friday, she received her high school diploma with her classmates.

And Shoup, a daughter of Jennifer and Charles Shoup of Beech Island, has one word for her dual achievement: “Awesome.”

“I would not be where I am without it. That program is awesome,” Shoup said Wednesday, one day after being named her class' valedictorian. “I'm glad I took advantage of it. I'll go into college at USC Columbia with two years knocked off.”

The financial benefits of Early College are “awesome,” too, Shoup said.

“Just money-wise in terms of student loans, it's a weight lifted off,” she said.

And Early College had another benefit. Because Shoup already had completed so many of her required courses for graduation, senior year was a breeze.

“This year has been so easy,” she said.

Shoup will attend USC Columbia in the fall and plans to major in biology and minor in Spanish. After graduating in two years, she plans to enroll in Augusta University to become a physician's assistant.

After four years of hard work at Midland Valley High and ATC, has plans for an awesome summer, too.

“I'm going to vacation hard,” she said.

Shoup is one of nearly 800 Aiken County Public Schools' students from Midland Valley High, North Augusta High, Ridge Spring-Monetta High and Silver Bluff High who received their diplomas Friday during commencement exercises in the Convocation Center at USC Aiken. Over two days, 1,432 students from the district's seven high schools earned their diplomas.

Each school's graduating class by the numbers are as follows:

North Augusta High School

• Valedictorian: Carson Goddard Allen

• Salutatorian: Anna Elizabeth Mercer

• Number of graduates: 314

• Number of graduates going to a two- or four-year college: 292

• Number of graduates going into the military: 5

• Total amount of scholarships offered to the North Augusta High class of 2019: $11,977,013

Ridge Spring-Monetta High

• Valedictorian: Arturo Contreras

• Salutatorian: Austin Nicholas Scott

• Number of graduates: 52

• Number of graduates going to a two- or four-year college: 40

• Number of graduates going into the military: 2

• Total amount of scholarships offered to the Ridge Spring-Monetta class of 2019: $2,321,376

Midland Valley High School

• Valedictorian: Lauren Taylor Shoup

• Salutatorian: Meagan Renee O’Banion

• Number of graduates: 272

• Number of graduates going to a two- or four-year college: 250

• Number of graduates going into the military: 7

• Total amount of scholarships offered to the Midland Valley High class of 2019: $14,713,555

Silver Bluff High School

• Valedictorian: Hannah Margaret Grove

• Salutatorian: Robert Allen Gilbert

• Number of graduates: 135

• Number of graduates going to a two- or four-year college: 128

• Number of graduates going into the military: 4

• Total amount of scholarships offered to the Silver Bluff High class of 2019: $3.4 million.

Larry Wood/Aiken Standard
Photo Credit: Cindy Kubovic