Mostly Black Illinois High School Gets First Black Valedictorian

Mostly Black Illinois High School Gets First Black Valedictorian

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On Wednesday Thornton Fractional South High School got its first Black valedictorian after 57 years.

Nnyla Lampkins spent four years planning to  make history.

“Going into the lunch room, you see like a line of pictures for every valedictorian. I noticed that there are no African Americans up here….nobody up there looked like me and I was like let me try to be the first one,” said Lampkin.

Nnyla earned her spot by taking honors and AP courses earning a 4.36 GPA.

The high school’s class salutatorian, Frances Romero, also made history by being the school’s first Latina salutatorian.

The student population of the Lansing, IL high school was 59 percent Black and 19 percent Hispanic in 2014.

“I’ve spent 19 years here and I’ve seen a demographic change and I think it’s a wonderful, breakthrough moment for our school,” said school principal, Jake Gourley.

Written by Jordan Gaines

Jordan Gaines

Jordan Gaines is a cultural critic and Madison365 contributor.

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