DECATUR COUNTY – This weekend marks a milestone many area students have been working towards for more than a decade: graduating from high school.

South Decatur High School hosts its commencement program at 7 p.m. today in the school gym.

Decatur County Community Schools Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Burns said he anticipates approximately 70 students will graduate from SDHS, and offered a reminder to parents.

“Celebrate your child’s achievement, because it’s the culmination of 13 years of a lot of hard work,” he said. “I always tell our parents to give themselves a pat on the back because there is no kid who makes it by themselves. This is truly a family celebration when a student walks across that stage. Take the time to celebrate and embrace it, and be prepared for the next challenge in your child’s life.”

Greensburg Community High School conducts its graduation program starting at 9 a.m. Saturday in the school gym.

GCHS expects to graduate 162 students, and Principal Grant Peters also said the program is a way to celebrate an achievement that comes from years of hard work and dedication.

“It truly is a celebration, and it’s a celebration of all of our seniors. We try to acknowledge each of them in receiving their diploma,” he said. “Every graduating class has its own accomplishments and achievements, and this particular class of 2019 is one that will be remembered for excellence and leadership. They are just fantastic kids.”

North Decatur High School begins its graduation ceremony at 11 a.m. Saturday, also in the school gym.

NDHS anticipates graduating approximately 80 students.

Dr. Burns offered his congratulations to those students receiving a diploma, and pointed out that earning a “sheep skin” today is much more difficult than was the case when today’s parents were teens.

“It’s not like when I was in school when if you showed up, were a good kid, and did some work and you were going to get a diploma. In this day and age, you have to work your tail off, and there is no free lunch,” he said.

Those attending any or all of the local commencement exercises are encouraged to show up at least 30 minutes prior to the scheduled start of the day’s activities to allow time for parking and finding a seat, which are available on a first come first served basis.

The Daily News will feature stories and photos from all three schools’ commencement programs Tuesday.

Kevin Green may be contacted at kevin.green@greensburgdailynews.com or 812-663-3111 x 7056.

Graduation details

South Decatur High School: 7 p.m. today in the school gym.

Greensburg Community High School: 9 a.m. Saturday in the school gym.

North Decatur High School: 11 a.m. Saturday in the school gym.