Hope High School will become the first high school to honor its graduates at the new $10 million Hempstead Hall conference/arts venue on the University of Arkansas Community College at Hope campus when 132 seniors receive diplomas tonight in 7 p.m. commencement exercises.
Hope native State Senator Linda Pondexter Chesterfield, D-Little Rock, will give the keynote address for the graduation ceremonies.
Sen. Chesterfield is a two-term senator, who chairs the Joint Energy Committee and is vice-chairman of the Legislative Joint Audit Committee.
During the 88th General Assembly, she served as chairman of the Senate Transportation, Technology, and Legislative Affairs Committee.
Chesterfield was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2002, where she served three consecutive terms, and was the president of the Arkansas Black Caucus. She is the current treasurer of the organization.
She is past president of the Little Rock School Board and the Pulaski County Association of Classroom Teachers and past two-term president of the Arkansas Education Association. She is the only Arkansan to have been elected to the nine-member Executive Committee of the National Education Association.
Chesterfield is a retired educator with over 30 years of classroom experience. She and her husband, Emry, own Pondexter Chesterfield Consulting. A native of Hope, she was the first African-American to graduate from Hendrix College. The Chesterfields reside in Little Rock and attend First Baptist Church.
Fifteen honor graduates have been announced for the Class of 2013, according to senior sponsor Terri Hoglund.
Graduating summa cum laude are Julia Joyce Garcia, Amy Lou Davis, Luz Elena Arechiga, Yoko Vega, and Madison Page MacNew.
Magna cum laude honors have been earned by Bryan Lee Atchley, Edmundo Ramirez Dominguez, Dillon Cole McClanahan, Keri Brianne Piggee, and Ivy Ann Terry.
Cum laude graduates include Joyce Irene Duke, Angelica Denese Fulton, Lacey Jo Singleton, Sorkeiss Mariano White, and Jasmine Laura Woods.