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Super seniors added to 2022 Springdale graduating class after missing theirs nearly 70 years ago

Four seniors from the 1956 Springdale High School class missed their graduation to enter the armed forces. They were honored with a degree nearly 70 years later.

SPRINGDALE, Ark. — The Springdale School District added four honorary graduates to the 2022 graduating class. 

The four “super seniors” missed their own graduation in 1956 because they joined the armed forces. 

Air Force Veteran Carl Stults, Army Veteran Bobby Burke, Air Force Veteran Charles Leroy Moon and Air Force Veteran Bob Self, joined the 484 graduating seniors from Springdale High School.

“I took a GED test when I went into the Air Force and at the time, Springdale didn't recognize the GED test,” Self said. “I got a diploma from Little Rock Central.” 

Self expressed his gratitude for his time in the service, traveling to Hong Kong and the Philippines.  

“I don't want people telling me what to do and I'm like okay, I joined the Air Force,” Self said about his thoughts before joining the Air Force. “But about two days after I got there, they were really telling me what to do” 

Springdale educators say they found out about the four seniors missing their graduations while meeting them at the Wagon Wheel Café in Springdale.  

“These guys that whole class they meet I think once a month for lunch,” said Jason Jones. “They are true Springdale Bulldogs, they are all about Springdale.” 

The Springdale School District Administration explained that the addition of the “super seniors” was a surprise for students. During the ceremony, educators listed the many accomplishments the four had completed, such as owning successful businesses, working in the poultry industry and even raising racehorses.

Educators hoped to honor the four seniors and use the moment to educate students. 

“They're gonna learn honor, they're gonna learn respect, it's just gonna be a special moment for them,” said Jones about the 2022 graduating class. 

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