Top of Class: Honoring academic excellence for over 20 years

JC invites 45 high schools in the Pine Belt, from Clarke County to Stone and Walthall counties,...
JC invites 45 high schools in the Pine Belt, from Clarke County to Stone and Walthall counties, to Jefferson Davis, Wayne and Greene counties.(WDAM)
Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 4:51 PM CDT
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PINE BELT, Miss. (WDAM) - WDAM’s partnership with educators from around the Pine Belt to highlight the academic milestones of Valedictorians and Salutatorians from 45 high schools continues with this year’s edition of Top of Class.

Top of Class started in 1985 on the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi with Deposit Guaranty Bank and Adcock Pool and Spa as the inaugural sponsors of the half-hour televised academic recognition program that was heavily promoted by WDAM.

Jones College, at the time known as Jones County Junior College, became the lead sponsor of the program in 1997, turning the show into a special event.

As technology advanced throughout the years, new ways to highlight the Top of Class honorees were introduced. About six years ago, the tv show format changed from a 30-minute program to 25, one-minute segments that air every weekday for five weeks during WDAM 7 Sunrise.

The segments, which feature the Valedictorians and Salutatorians from two-high schools, are now seen on a larger scale, and videos are posted to the Top of Class web page and are available to download in order to share them on social media or to make a digital memory.

“For 24 years, Jones College has been honored to host the Top of Class event with WDAM-TV because we take pride in offering the best education for our communities,” said JC President, Dr. Jesse Smith. “These are the best student students in south Mississippi whose accomplishments are more deserving of recognition, and we’re proud to be a part of the celebration.”

An invite-only event will be held to honor the 2022 Top of Class recipients on Wednesday, May 4, at the A.B. Howard Bobcat Gym/Student Union at 8:45 a.m.

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