More graduate students are graduating in this ceremony than undergraduates. A total of 199 candidates from the School of Graduate Studies and 42 undergraduates from SAU’s four academic colleges will be recognized.
John Ward, superintendent of Magnolia schools, will provide the commencement address. Ward has served as superintendent since 2014. Prior to joining the Magnolia district, Ward had 17 years of experience in education as a teacher, elementary principal and superintendent. He began his career as a sixth grade science teacher in 1997 at Horatio Elementary. In 2000, he transferred to Winthrop Elementary where he taught fifth and sixth grade science and math. He later became principal there in 2003. In 2007, Horatio School District hired Ward to lead their district as the superintendent. Under his leadership, the district successfully completed major construction projects, increased the fund balance and increased student achievement. He and his wife, Misty, have four children: Will, Caleb, Eli and Rachel.
All candidates should assemble in the Auxiliary Gym of the W. T. Watson Athletic Center no later than 9 a.m.