The Head of the Class Award is given every semester to two students from Lauderdale County high schools and Meridian High School.
Mississippi Power and the education committee of the East Mississippi Business Development Corporation hosted an end of the year awards breakfast to properly recognize their achievements.
No student ever knows they have been nominated by their teachers ahead of time, so the presentations are a complete surprise to those who win.
"It made me feel really good to know Ms. Dennis is proud of me," said Raven Hutchson, a junior at Clarkdale High School. "I was proud of myself. I feel like I can feel her pride."
"It is something that I did, that I worked hard for. I'm going to keep pushing to be the best for it," said Arenso Hurlong, a Meridian High School senior.
Arenso received the highest achievement Head of the Class Award for his talents in welding.
All eighteen students in attendance were honored for their skills in career and technical classes, courses that can at times demand an extreme amount of effort from students who are 17 and 18.
"Students that are in the career and technical classes don't always get recognized and these are extremely important classes," said Bobbie Rea of the EMBDC Education Committee. "These students will be our future workforce. And hopefully, some will go on and get some form of further education. But they are important to our community and the businesses in our community because our businesses will be hiring these students one day."
Beginning in the fall semester, eighteen more students will have a chance to win Head of the Class Awards. Previous winners say it's achievable by anyone who puts his mind to it.