Joplin High welcomes Obama commencement visit

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) — The Joplin High School class of 2012 will graduate one day later than expected in May, but students will get a memorable commencement speaker in exchange for the delayed ceremony.

Word of President Barack Obama’s plans to speak at the May 21 graduation filtered quickly through school on Monday.

The president will travel to Joplin after the G-8 and NATO summits in Chicago. The school agreed to delay its graduation, which had been scheduled for May 20, to accommodate the president.

Joplin schools superintendent C.J Huff says the presidential visit will highlight a 450-member senior class that has grown up a lot since the May 22, 2011 tornado that killed 161 people and destroyed much of Joplin, including the former high school.

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