Degrees and Certifications:
HCHS Advanced High School Diploma- Salutatorian Wallace College Associates in Science- Cum Laude Bachelor's in Science- Secondary English- Magna Cum Laude Master of Education - Secondary Education
Ms. Melissa Sims
I am a proud alumna-- second generation Lion-- raising two future Lions. I attended Houston County High School first through twelfth grades serving as salutatorian for both sixth and twelfth grades. I have worked at Houston County High School since the 2003-2004 school year. I teach junior and senior English, as well as serve as yearbook sponsor, scholar's bowl coach, website facilitator and senior sponsor. I look forward to many more years here at HCHS! ROAR LIONS!!
Seniors 2020 Graduation Update: LISTEN FOR UPDATES-- ALWAYS SUBJECT TO CHANGE
Seniors, this has certainly been A YEAR!! From a delayed start due to a virus to an early end due to a virus!! It is extremely unfortunate, but first life lesson: it is what it is. Before the relaying of this information, remember, we all already knew this was not to be our typical graduation. We were in fear that we wouldn’t have one at all! There are some things that have to be taken care of and there is not a lot of time to get them done. Most of this has been told to you NUMEROUS times, so none of that “OMG I DIDN’T KNOW YOU DIDN’T TELL ME” stuff-- I’ve told you MANY TIMES – A L L Y E A R L O N G.
A graduation plan is in motion. It is not complete just yet but complete enough that things HAVE to get done NOW! The proposed dates are a bit iffy, BUT it COULD be as soon as the original graduation date (May 22) (not the same venue) to a couple of weeks after that. It will not be as years previous. We will not get to have our baccalaureate service; there will be no practice date; and the audience will be very limited with many restrictions. The venue has changed. Graduation will not be held at the Civic Center. Tickets will be issued to each senior for family attendance. Attendance will be very limited. It will be similar to a drive in movie in that no one except seniors will be allowed out of their vehicles. In an effort not to report misinformation, I will not go into much detail until all the particulars have been finalized. Just know that desperate times call for desperate measures. This is being handled as best as it can be by our central office that A. have their hands tied predominately and B. are being restricted by those in higher positions than they are– in short this is a no blame game. Everyone is doing everything in their power to get this accomplished. This is your reality.
This is what has to happen before either the May 22 date or the couple of weeks following:
- First of all, ALL OUTSTANDING BALANCES MUST BE PAID TO BALFOUR BEFORE THEY WILL SEND YOUR CAP/GOWN/DIPLOMA. At this point, it will need to be paid via phone with a credit or debit card. Time is not sufficient to wait on the mail. Many have outstanding balances and many have not ordered at all. I cannot stress to you enough the importance of this. Contrary to popular belief, the school doesn’t storehouse extras nor do we supply these items. It seems to be a common misconception that all the hoopla for a graduation ceremony is the school’s responsibility. A graduation ceremony is just that: a show. It is customary and highly anticipated but has nothing to do with your status as a “high school graduate.” The diploma, likewise, is a “showpiece” and has nothing to do with your status of “graduate.” All that is bound into your OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT.
I understand that the cost of the cap and gown package at this date is high. (Remember how many times I said: It never goes down; it only goes up?) The ceremony will not be traditional. It will be shortened. If you choose to not go to the expense of the whole cap/gown/diploma package, an alternative does exist. A diploma can be ordered separately for $50. This would have to be sent to Balfour directly. This would mean that you would forego the ceremony, but you would still have your showpiece. This is an option. If this is the option you choose, please let me know. If you have already paid for your package and choose not to attend the ceremony but still want your diploma, if the cap and gown never leaves campus and is never opened, you can request a partial refund from Balfour directly.
- Secondly, I have sent out NUMEROUS invoices in hardcopy as well as by way of Remind messages all throughout the year concerning outstanding fees to HCH. I have directed you to clear up any discrepancies with the sponsor of any fees in question. These outstanding fees for YEARBOOK ADS*, CHEMISTRY, PHYSICS, CHEER, AG, BAND, LOST BOOKS, & etc MUST BE PAID IN FULL BY GRADUATION. Many have contacted me attempting to get these taken care of. I appreciate that.
I have been directed to relay to you that these fees should be paid VIA MAIL. Send fee amount owed to:
Houston County High School
200 West Church Street
Columbia, AL 36319
ATTN: SENIOR FEES
The office will be sent a listing of the names and amounts owed. I, likewise, will have the listing. I DO NOT check messenger on facebook. Do not attempt to contact me through there with questions. Contact me through REMIND 101 or through my email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Yall know yearbook is my heart. I have been in contact with Jostens and all I can tell you at this moment is: I will have to let you know when the books come in. A plan will then be constructed for pickup and purchase for those who did not preorder. Thankfully, the yearbook was finished ON THE VERY DAY we were all sent home—thanks to you guys that came to school that day just to get a picture or two made! Thank you!
Guys, there are no words. I feel your dismay; I feel your hurt. I know you have worked hard for this moment only for a microscopic organism to destroy it. My heart goes out to you. Yet, this is just how it is. Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen.
Ok… We have a lot to do. Let’s get it started! I will keep you posted as I receive updates. Stay positive. No negativity-- we are all winging it and doing the very best we can.
HCHS JUNIORS & SENIORS: A prom update from Mrs. Paramore:Due to Covid-19 there will be some changes for PROM:It will be held at the pavilion by the softball fields in Columbia Friday, June 12,2029!! 8:00-11:00OMLead out will be on Facebook live for parents and friends to watch. Due to crowd size and social distancing, ONLY attendees will be allowed in the gate. Sorry.No food will be served. DJ and photo booth will be there!!Only those that have paid will be allowed in the gate. If you did not get a chance to buy a ticket, it will be $40 at the gate ($80 if bringing a date).Prom King and Queen will be voted on at check in. Lead out cards will also be completed at check in.Mask and social distancing are encouraged. We love our students and your health and safety is important to us. We also want you to have a great time and a beautiful Prom to remember!!!(Prom Committee can help decorate that Friday 9:00 am)