Graduation for members of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School Class of 2021 will be held at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 11, on the school grounds at 130 Haliwa-Saponi Trail, Hollister.
The keynote speaker will be Justin Richardson, assistant director in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at North Carolina State University. A member of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe from Hollister, he leads Native American recruitment and student outreach while serving as the program coordinator for the Native Education Forum and Pack Preview.
Richardson also serves as vice president of the NC State American Indian Alumni Society and chief of expansion for Phi Sigma Nu Fraternity, Inc. He is one of the founders of Miskwa Waya, a Native American drum group on the NC State campus.
Richardson holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication from NC State University and is pursuing a master’s degree in Higher Education at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
The valedictorian of the Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School Class of 2021 is Daejah Lynch, who would like to continue her education at a university. She is currently leaning toward Winston-Salem State University or UNC-Charlotte.
Lynch said that she will miss her teachers after graduating from HSTS.
“One thing I will miss the most about high school is the teachers (old and new), to be completely honest,” she said. “There are a few that have helped and been there for me for so much more than school.”
The class salutatorian is Dakota Lynch, who plans to attend Nash Community College after high school and transfer to a university, possibly UNC-Pembroke. He is thinking about studying Veterinary Medicine, along with study in Music.
Lynch will miss both teachers and his friends at HSTS.
“The things I’ll miss most about high school are the teachers and students that I made friends with,” he said. “I will also miss the school very much because it’s the only school I’ve ever been to (kindergarten through 12th grade).”