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Oxford High School announces 2019-20 valedictorian and salutatorian

Two Oxford School District students received good news on Thursday amidst all of the uncertainty regarding their spring semester resuming.

Oxford High School senior Edward Hu was named the school’s valedictorian for the 2019-20 school year, and Lilly Hemmins was named salutatorian.

Hu leads the Class of 2020 with 4.61 grade point average, while Hemmins was .02 points behind with a GPA of 4.59.

The son of Xiaofeng Hu and Yi Yang, Hu is a member of the varsity tennis team, a USA Physics Olympiad honorable mention, a science bowl captain, a Research Science Institute Alumnus, a Canada/USA Mathcamp Alumnus and published a first-authored research paper in CDC Preventing Chronic Disease.

Hu’s top three choices of colleges are Harvard, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Princeton, and he plans to study applied mathematics or computer science.

“Many of my passionate friends, their passion inspires me and motivates me to pursue my own interests, whether it be in research, tennis or math,” Hu said of what has been most influential in his academic success.

Hemmins is the daughter of Andy and Cristen Hemmins. She is considering Duke, Tulane and Columbia as her college destination and is currently unsure what her major will be, but feels it will be in sociology, political science or business with a minor in Spanish.

“I am most proud that I’ve completed more than 200 hours of peer tutoring, registered more than 350 students to vote, started my own club and been voted Student Body Vice President,” Hemmins said.

Oxford High School’s graduation is currently scheduled for May 15 at C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum on the University of Mississippi campus. Mississippi public schools are currently closed through April 17 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the state will reassess as the deadline gets closer to open up schools and resume school-related activities.

“Graduation location and plans are dependent on social distancing protocol for May 15,” OHS principal Noah Hamilton said. “We are working on contingency plans for the same date. Soon, we will be seeking student and parent input on those ideas. We hope that we do not have to use the contingency plan and our seniors get the honor of walking across the stage in the Tad Pad as planned. They deserve it.”