THS class of 2017 earns nearly $12 million in scholarships

By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor

ALABASTER – Seating was scarce as a standing-room-only crowd filled the Thompson High School auditorium on the night of May 18 to see the class of 2017 receive several million dollars worth of scholarships, but THS Principal Dr. Wesley Hester said the lack of space sent a positive message to this year’s seniors.

“Guys, I’m sorry about the seating situation, but I think we can all agree that this is a good problem to have,” Hester said to the hundreds of students, friends and family members attending the annual awards night. “The number of graduates that are earning scholarships at Thompson High School continues to grow each year. Over one-third of our auditorium is reserved just for the graduates who are receiving honors tonight.

“This is an exciting time, and a very fun event,” he added.

During the awards night, hundreds of students were recognized for earning scholarships, academic and athletic achievements and for enlisting in the United States military. Many colleges, such as Auburn University, Tuskegee University, The University of Alabama, Mississippi State University, UAB and Troy University, sent representatives to the event to personally honor scholarship recipients.

Multiple military branches also sent representatives to the awards night to recognize students who have enlisted in the Armed Forces, and honored those who have received scholarships to also further their education after high school.

In total, the more than 440 students in the THS class of 2017 earned about $11.8 million in scholarships.

At the end of the ceremony, school leaders also distributed honor cords to the valedictorians, salutatorians, Presidential Award recipients and members of the National Honor Society, Mu Alpha Theta, French Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, International Thespian Society, Quill and Scroll Honor Society, Kitty Hawk Air Society, Leo Club, HOSA: Future Health Care Professionals, National Technical Honor Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Ambassadors and the City of Alabaster Mayor’s Teen Council. Students who received honor cords will wear them as they walk across the stage at the school’s May 23 graduation ceremony.

In addition to colleges and military branches, the following local organizations also presented the following awards: ACS Community Education Scholarship, ACS Superintendent’s Champion of Our Future Scholarship, Alabaster Arts Council Scholarship in memory of Diana Hussey, Alabaster Sports and Entertainment Foundation Scholarship, Alpha Phi Alpha Chapter Scholarship, City of Alabaster Mayor’s Teen Council recognitions, Daughters of the American Revolution David Lindsay Chapter Scholarship, Elaine Roberts Foundation Scholarship, Hugh Talbert Memorial Scholarship, Jefferson State Community College Counselor’s Scholarship, Ora Lee Jones Memorial Foundation Scholarship, Sons of the American Revolution Birmingham Chapter Scholarship, Smith Scholarship Foundation and the Thompson High School PTO Scholarship.