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Starting Tomorrow, Mayor Bell to Shake Every Single Graduates Hand Again This Year

Media Advisory

April Odom

Starting Tomorrow, Mayor Bell to Shake Every Single Graduates Hand Again This Year

BIRMINGHAM, ALA. (May 18, 2017) –  The Birmingham City Schools’ Class of 2017 will graduate on Monday, May 22 and Tuesday, May 23 at the Bill Harris Arena, 2337 Bessemer Road. The school system will also have a May 23 graduation ceremony for students in the district’s Dropout Recovery program, which allows non-traditional students to take online course work and additional instruction from teachers and counselors at the Dropout Recovery Learning Center.  Mayor Bell will be there to greet each graduate individually.

“It has been an honor to do this each of the last 6 years. It seems like a simple thing, a thirty second hand shake, but it has such meaning for me and for each student. It is my opportunity to say I believe in you and the City of Birmingham supports you,” said Mayor Bell.

The Class of 2017 has amassed more than $39 million in scholarships, topping the $37.2 million in scholarship offers the Class of 2016 secured. In fact, the district’s graduating seniors have increased their scholarship totals year after year. The Class of 2013 had $22.73 million in scholarships. The Class of 2014 had $25.47 million in scholarships. And the Class of 2015 had $26.7 million in scholarships. District officials attribute the increase to an increase in college scholarship offerings because of an increase in student achievement levels, the hard work of the counselors and different initiatives and programs implemented in the district.

Two honor students with at least $1 million in scholarship offers, each, are Taelor Allen, the valedictorian of Huffman High School, and Nakayla Bruno, a student at Ramsay High School. Allen plays volleyball and received the 7A, Region 3 Bryant-Jordan Scholar-Athlete Award for 7A. She went on to win the Class 7A Bryant-Jordan Scholar Athlete Award. She received a full-ride scholarship to Tuskegee University. Bruno is one of 50 students selected from around the country to receive a scholarship to attend Google’s Computer Science Summer Institute for one month in Seattle.  Bruno will attend Howard University.

New Birmingham Superintendent Dr. Lisa N. Herring will join the Mayor and attend each graduation. City council members and BCS board members are also slated to attend various graduation ceremonies.


10 a.m. Ramsay

1 p.m. Woodlawn

4 p.m. Wenonah

7 p.m. Huffman



10 a.m. Jackson-Olin

1 p.m. Parker

4 p.m. Carver

6 p.m. Dropout Recovery