Ricardo Boulware

Ricardo Boulware, a senior at Great Bridge High School, had a GPA of 4.38 and will attend Virginia Tech. He intends to major in education and Spanish. He has held leadership positions such as Lt. Governor of the Key Club, senior class president, and Youth Advisory Board member. His academic abilities have been recognized in membership in the National Honor Society and Spanish Honor Society. He was also active on the varsity cross country and varsity tennis teams.

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In the news:

Great Bridge class president wants to speak at commencement

By CINDY CLAYTON, The Virginian-Pilot
@ May 25, 2007

CHESAPEAKE - Ricardo Boulware told the School Board on Thursday night that he just wants a couple of minutes to speak at his graduation.

As senior class president, the Great Bridge High School student has been expecting to give a speech since he was elected last year. Recently, Boulware found out that his speech was cut from the June 15 ceremony to save time.

Last year's ceremony, held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center, went about 25 minutes over its allotted time.

All Chesapeake graduations will be held there again this year.

This year, interim principal Alan Vaughan decided to cut the speeches of the senior class and student council presidents, along with the ROTC and scholarship presentations.

Instead, the two student representatives will lead the seniors in moving their tassels over, James D. Rayfield, director of secondary curriculum and instruction, told the board.

The decision ends a tradition at Great Bridge, which celebrates its 100th anniversary this year, Boulware told the board.

"I feel I deserve the same honor and privilege as well," Boulware said.

Superintendent W. Randolph Nichols said he has no intention of reversing Vaughan's decision.

"It would seem to me we could find some way to incorporate a representative of the student body to do more than just move a tassel over," said board member Jay Leftwich Jr., a Great Bridge graduate.

Other board members echoed the sentiment.

"Some traditions are falling by the wayside because of time constraints," said board member Michael Woods.

Woods said he wasn't in favor of moving the graduations away from the schools in the first place.

Board member Ann Wiggins wondered if the students could be allowed to give a short speech or have some other kind of participation.

"I just hate the thought that that is absolutely written in stone," she said.