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High school graduation ceremony planned for Marine home on leave

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By Ben Carlson

Anderson County High School will hold a special graduation ceremony Wednesday for a student who left school earlier this year to join the Marine Corps.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 9:45 a.m. in the high school auditorium.

The public is welcome.

Kris Payton had already met all of his graduation requirements last January, and was given permission by Principal Ray Woodyard to leave school to join the Marines.

Teacher Kim Medley said Payton was told that the Marines would try to accommodate his wish to return in May to graduate with his class, but it didn't work out.

"He was hoping to come back for his graduation ceremony and walk across the stage in his dress blues, which of course he couldn't wear until he finished basic training," Medley said.

The event will be a complete graduation ceremony, Medley said.

With a winter weather advisory in effect, Medley said the ceremony will be moved to Thursday if it can't be held Wednesday.