More than 300 graduate from Helena High School


BIRMINGHAM–When freshmen students walked through the doors of brand new Helena High School in the fall of 2014, they knew four years later they would have the distinction of being the first class to graduate after being at HHS all four years.

On Tuesday, May 22, the four years of academic, athletic, fine arts and overall success was celebrated as more than 300 students in the class of 2018 were honored during commencement exercises at the BJCC concert hall in downtown Birmingham.

“These past four years have flown by so quickly and it seems like only yesterday that you all walked through the doors of the cafeteria and I addressed you for the first time as our first freshmen class,” Helena High School Principal April Brand said. “Here you sit this evening, about to become our first graduating class to have attended Helena High School all four years. Collectively, you have laid a foundation of excellence and established a culture of high expectations but more importantly, the class of 2018 has shown the power of kindness, and a servant’s heart as well as how to care about something bigger and more important that yourself.”

After addressing how special the class of 2018 has been during their time at Helena, Brand said it is now time for the students to go out and make the best of the time they have on earth and use their zone of influence.

At the ceremony, Senior Class President Ashli Funches welcomed all to the ceremony, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Senior Class Vice President Hayley Johnson. “I Hope You Dance,” was sang by Laken Hilton followed by the Salutatorian’s and Valedictorian’s address by Caitlin Rutland and Jace Aldrich.

Members from all across the tight-knit Helena community attended the graduation, including every member of the Helena City Council, Helena Mayor Mark Hall, members of the Shelby County Board of Education and more.

Hall addressed the students and told them no matter where or what they choose to do in life, “They will always have a home in Helena.”

Collectively, the HHS Class of 2018 received more than $6.1 million in scholarships as scholarships ranged from academic, athletics, fine arts and more.

To view or purchase more photos from graduation, visit