On Saturday, May 25, University View Academy (UVA) held its traditional graduation ceremony at the Raising Cane’s River Center in Baton Rouge. Graduation season is always a highlight of the school year, but to many UVA families and staff members, the 2024 ceremony was particularly meaningful. The class of 2024 was the first class to include students who had been enrolled at UVA for their entire K-12 education. 

With 342 graduates, the class of 2024 was also the second-largest graduating class in UVA’s history. Nearly 300 students traveled to Baton Rouge to walk across the stage and receive their high school diplomas in person. Hundreds of families and friends filled the convention center to watch as students entered the arena in the processional. The assembly was led in the pledge of allegiance by UVA’s 2023-24 Student of the Year, Savanna Curson, who had been enrolled at UVA since kindergarten. Graduate Elijah Strain, a 2024 Winner with Distinction of the YoungArts Foundation national competition, sang the national anthem. 

In addition to remarks from UVA leadership, graduates were also addressed by their peers. Chloe Borne, the class of 2024 salutatorian, spoke first. She graduated summa cum laude, scored over a 30 on the ACT, was an active member of Beta Club, and earned a statewide industry-based credential as well as an associate in general studies from Northwestern State University. She will attend Louisiana State University, Ogden Honors College. 

Borne’s achievements segued into Principal Sharon Sims’ recognition of distinguished graduates. Members of UVA’s Early College and Career Academy graduated with associate degrees from Louisiana colleges and universities in addition to their high school diplomas. The class also earned over 200 statewide industry-based credentials. The documented scholarship total was nearly $4.6 million through academic merit, artistic talent, and community service. 

2024 valedictorian Nicolas Chaney-Martinez, who accumulated nearly $295,000 in scholarships, then addressed his classmates. He graduated summa cum laude, scored over a 30 on the ACT, and was a member of National Honor Society and Beta Club. He will attend the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Honors College. 

After Superintendent Dr. Quentina Timoll’s address to the assembly, graduates were presented with their diplomas. Virtual attendees were also recognized in a slideshow. Board President Linda Holliday led graduates in the traditional turning of the tassel. The new alumni completed their time as UVA students in a proud recessional to the courtyard.

The class of 2024 is leaving a lasting legacy at UVA. Some graduates were only 16 years old, reaching senior status through their incredible amount of earned credits. Some were accepted to distinguished institutions such as Rice University and Carnegie Mellon University. Others are entering the workforce with a technical diploma or an associate of applied science. We wish all our graduates well as they leave UVA empowered, future-ready, and eager to continue their journeys of lifelong learning. 

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