Kyle Clanton, 18, of Edinburg, stands outside Central High School on Monday. Clanton is one of 191 students graduating Thursday night in Woodstock.

Kyle Clanton is one of 191 students preparing to graduate from Central High School on Thursday.

Clanton, 18, of Edinburg, reflected on his years at the school, where he excelled as an athlete and in the classroom with a 3.5-grade point average.

“I am going to miss all of it,” Clanton said.

He noted that he was busy all the time at school. “It’s a lot of hard work and dedication.”

This year he was named Central’s Athlete of the Year and the Bull Run District Offensive Player of the Year in football. He was selected in multiple years for All-State first team as a kick returner as well as second-team All-State as a defensive back, punt returner and receiver. He won three state titles in track.

Clanton was a wide receiver in football, a sprinter and jumper in track and field, and in his senior year, he played basketball as a shooting guard.

School, he said was not always easy. “I have gone through challenges.”

One challenge was a speech impediment.

“That made me uncomfortable speaking to people or in class,” Clanton said.

He said he made himself more comfortable talking to people by practicing.

“I thought of what I was going to say the day before,” Clanton said.

Clanton will be attending Bridgewater College, where he plans to study environmental science.

The Class of 2019

When looking back at the Class of 2019, Central High School Principal Melissa Hensley said she will remember their desire to step up and help those in need and support one another to overcome obstacles.

“They are strongly connected to their school, demonstrating a keen sense of what it means to have Blue and Gold Pride,” she stated in an email.

The graduation ceremony will be at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Central High School. Speakers will be students Palwasha Ayyub and Declan Franklin and Hensley. Of the 191 graduation candidates, 126 will continue their education, 48 expect to enter the workforce and five will join the military.

– Contact Melissa Topey at