VERNON - Vernon High School heralded in a red letter day Wednesday as 22 members of the Class of 2016 signed a total of 25 scholarships valued at $770,000.

The number of those offered scholarships represents about 35% of the senior class.

“This is certainly a historic signing,” said VHS Principal Brian Riviere. “Most of the time we have maybe three or so students, but today we celebrate 22, some who received more than one scholarship.”

11 football players, two softball players, and five band members received scholarships. The senior class also netted three Take Stock in Children Scholarships, one military scholarship, and two academic scholarships.

While members of the Washington County School Board, classmates, VHS staff, and parents of the recipients celebrated the students, school officials stressed that student success is a responsibility shared by all.

 “Each of you have your own story of how you made it to this day, a story that includes a lot of other folks who were there with you along the way,” Riviere told the seniors. “Maybe you were raised by a single mom who worked two jobs to put food on the table. Maybe you lived with another family, were raised by an uncle, aunt, or grandparent. Maybe it was a teacher, counselor or coach that pushed you harder than before … This day is for them, too.”

VHS Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Willie Spears echoed that sentiment.

“This is the work of every parent, student, and school staff,” said Spears. “This is a manifestation of teamwork. This is what happens when a village raises a child.”

Riviere went on to tell students to take pride in late nights, tough classes, games, practices, and competitions.

“All those obstacles  that you fought your way through because no matter what, you were determined to go to college, and you did it.”

For a complete look at all students honored, click to browse through the photos.