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Shelton Valedictorian Charles Mitts plans to study Business at Indiana University.

Shelton, the largest independent school for students with learning differences, honored the Class of 2024 at graduation on Saturday, May 18, at 7:30 p.m. on the Shelton football field. 

Shelton Executive Director Suzanne Stell told the graduates, "We celebrate you, your commitment, the community you have built, your resilience and your persistence." Graduation speaker Chase Miller (Shelton Class of 2014), a Principal at NAI Robert Lynn, told the graduates to "embrace the adventure, have a strong work ethic and work through adversity."

Valedictorian Charles Mitts, who started at Shelton School in the sixth grade, spoke at the graduation about the passion and joy of learning. Charles will major in Business at Indiana University in Bloomington. “Shelton, please accept my gratitude,” Charles said in the graduation program. “The teachers, classmates and friends helped me grow into a more authentic version of myself during my time in high school and always maintained a positive, enjoyable atmosphere both inside and outside the classroom."

Salutatorian Nicole Seale, who attended Shelton since the sixth grade, delivered the benediction. Nicole will attend Texas Christian University, where she is considering majoring in Finance. “Attending Shelton, which is tailored for learning differences, benefitted me and my family," she said in the graduation program. "From the small classrooms that allow for more personalized attention from teachers and the strong sense of community to the inclusive learning environment, Shelton has allowed me to embrace my unique learning style, empowered me to excel academically and confidently and pursue leadership roles."

Students are overcoming the odds and accomplishing great things at Shelton. The 79 members of the Shelton Class of 2024 received 377 acceptances to 114 different colleges and universities and $7,230,196 in merit scholarships. They are headed to 43 different colleges across 18 states and one country. 

Here are some of the accomplishments of the students in the Class of 2024:

  • Two of Shelton’s seniors scored a perfect score of 36 on the ACT Reading. 

  • Seven scored 30 or higher on the ACT composite, and many scored 30 or higher on the ACT English, Reading, Math, Science and STEM sections.  

  • Maya Kamen received two prestigious and competitive scholarships, including the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Levine Scholars Program and the Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars Program. Maya accepted the UNCC opportunity, which provides full tuition, an $8,000 service grant and four summer experiences, including study abroad and internships.

  • Lane McCranie signed to play lacrosse at Southwestern University.

  • Four seniors were accepted into competitive Fine Arts programs at the collegiate level: 

    • Kathryn Brockette was accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program at New York University.

    • Addison Peacock accepted a position in the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Arts program at Southern Methodist University.

    • Max Innes committed to the five-year Bachelor of Architecture program at Tulane University.

    • Jordan Johnson will study in the Visual Art program at Austin College.

Here are Shelton’s Top 10 graduates: 

  • Charles Mitts, Valedictorian; college plans: Indiana University at Bloomington, majoring in Business

  • Nicole Seale, Salutatorian; college plans: Texas Christian University, considering majoring in Finance

  • Lilly Barnett, college plans: Texas A&M, majoring in Engineering

  • Ryan Cuzalina, college plans: Texas Christian University, majoring in Biology

  • Zoey Degani, college plans: Iowa State University, majoring in Astrophysics

  • Sophia Dorward, College plans: Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa, majoring in English or History

  • Kylie Gingold, college plans: Texas A&M, majoring in Business

  • Lauren Johnston, college plans: Austin College, undecided major

  • Jesi Roberts, college plans: University of Oklahoma, majoring in Business

  • Sam Rubin, college plans: University of Denver, majoring in Engineering

Stell praised the graduates, saying, "You have demonstrated amazing resiliency. You learned that having a learning difference can also be a gift."


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