Lincoln Middle High School in McClellanville has last graduation: "A bittersweet day"

VIDEO: Lincoln Middle High School in McClellanville has last graduation: "A bittersweet day"

MCCLELLANVILLE, SC (WCSC) - It's official, Lincoln High School is closed and Friday its last graduating class walked across the stage.

The McClellanville school has served the community for 62 years. The Charleston County School Board voted to close the middle and high school at the end of this school year.

The last graduation has a big impact on this close community. There's a range of emotions coming from McClellanville knowing that the class of 2016 will be the last.

"It's bittersweet and it's kind of sad because I was Miss Homecoming and I won't get to pass down my crown," graduate Tiarra White said.

The salutatorian at Lincoln High School, Mary Autumn White said everyone knows everyone and the school is the heart of the community.

"All of my family members that graduated from here, that is their pride and joy," she said.

Lincoln is home to generations. John Singleton and Jannette Singleton's worked at the school right after it opened. Jannette Singleton was the media specialist for 36 years. She says she feels blessed and devastated.

"Blessed that the kids will be able to be exposed to more, but then to take an educational institution out of a community is really heartbreaking for me," Singleton said.

The school is filled with pride and a 62-year legacy they're going to keep alive.

This 25 member graduating class earned $263,000 in scholarships and broke academic records for the school.

"You get emotional but it's bittersweet, were're happy that we graduated,"  graduate Shelek Brown said.

"I don't think it has hit me yet, I think it will hit me later tonight when I realize that we actually graduated," Mary Autumn said.

Though the doors might not reopen next school year, new ones will open for students at other schools.

"I know they're going to do good, it's going to give them new opportunities," Tiarra said.

"I hope that the kids realize there are things outside of Lincoln and they're open to new opportunities," Mary Autumn said.

The school's alumni association will still award scholarships to students who will now be attending different schools when they graduate next year. It's just one example of this close community.

Charleston County Board of Trustees member Chris Collins was at the graduation.  He says the board is going to be looking for ways to keep the school open. That will be a long process and it is not certain whether or not that will happen.

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