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Joplin High School graduates class of 2016 - KOAM TV 7

Joplin High School graduates class of 2016

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JOPLIN, MISSOURI -

Joplin High School graduates 446 seniors in the class of 2016.

A moment of silence was held for the three Joplin High School students in the class of 2016 who did not make it to graduation day.

Governor Jay Nixon spoke and congratulated the class on receiving $2.6 million in scholarships.

Senior Kagan Hoffman brought a photo of Zach Williams, her classmate that passed away in the Joplin tornado. Hoffman spotted an empty chair and passed it along to place there. A very public battle between Joplin schools and the family of Zach Williams took place in the months leading up to graduation on how his death should be honored. The school declined the request to save a seat for Williams.

"I saved a seat for Zach because I felt that no matter what he was a part of our class, and any parent would want to see their child be acknowledged for their academic achievements, he definitely deserved a spot in our graduating class even if he didn't finish," Hoffman said.

A standing ovation took place for the students going into the armed services following graduation.

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