By Josh Troy
Academic Signing Day was an opportunity for Clarksdale High School seniors to celebrate where they will be furthering their education in the 2023-24 school year. Students, faculty, and administrators came together in the high school gym on Wednesday afternoon as the different colleges each senior will be attending were announced.
Clarksdale High School seniors will be attending Coahoma Community College, Concorde Career Technical College, Delta State University, Delta Technical College, Harris-Stowe University, Jackson State University, LeMoyne-Owen College, Mississippi State University, Mississippi Valley State University, Northwest Mississippi Community College, University of Memphis, Ole Miss, and Southern Miss.
“Shout out to you all and congratulations,” said Clarksdale High School Principal Herbert Smith. “We are thrilled to have you with us as we prepare to mark the end of our seniors’ K12 experience. While we are extremely proud of the work that you all have done here, it is our hope that as you embark on your journey in higher education, you will take higher values, higher motivation, higher commitment, higher work ethic, and higher self-love. So, once again, congratulations to all of you. I am proud of you. We are extremely proud of you, the work that you have done, and wish you well in all of your future endeavors.”
Clarksdale Municipal School District Superintendent Dr. Toya Matthews spoke about the purpose of Academic Signing Day. “You have reached the milestone that sometimes we take for granted you’re going to reach. So our purpose here today is to celebrate you signing for the next level of your life,” she said. “Good luck in all your future endeavors and please know that, once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”
Marchellos Scott, a 2021 Clarksdale High School graduate, gave tips for seniors to help them succeed in college. Scott is currently a junior at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., majoring in political science and double minoring in educational studies and Spanish.
“Remember to always applaud yourselves,” said Scott to the seniors. “Appreciate yourself. It’s going to be the biggest thing going into college, making sure you understand who you are and making sure that everything you do is to improve who you are. And don’t lose sight of that.”
Scott then talked about studying. “The second piece of advice I will give you is to make sure that you study,” he said. “I know for some of you, you may not have to study in high school. But in college, it’s a different ballgame. Make sure that you stay on top of things, on top of your work. If you can do some of your assignments early, make sure that you do that.”
Scott’s next piece of advice was about students’ relationships with professors. “Make sure that you communicate with your professors,” he said. “Talk to your professors about classes. Even if you’re doing good in your classes, make sure that you still go to them and make sure that you’re building that relationship with your professor.”
Scott stressed the importance of balancing academics and personal time. “You’re in college,” he said. “Work hard. Play hard. Academics are also important, but also make sure that you’re taking time out to do things that you want to do outside of academics. Make sure that you keep your grades up.”
Scott encouraged the seniors attending community colleges to continue their education at four-year schools, either inside or out of Mississippi. “I think you all will do well,” he said. “I’m glad to be back and speak to you about college.”
Graduation coach Tre’Shawn Malone told the seniors he was sad to see them leave and announced where each of them would be attending college next year. “I’m going to say, I have thoroughly enjoyed working with all of our seniors this year,” he said.