Schley graduation held at GSW Storm Dome

Published 5:11 pm Saturday, May 25, 2024

Brenna Jacobs gave the welcome address: “To our faculty and staff, I want to say thank you. Thank you for seeing the good in us and endeavoring to find common ground.” She also addressed her classmates. “To my fellow classmates, I want to acknowledge that we’ve all had varied experiences throughout our high school, but in one way or another, we have all enjoyed successes as well as different hardships. Through it all, whether we have been left feeling discouraged or exhilarated, we persisted, and I want to say congratulations, we made it.”

Carson Westbrook gave the salutatory address. “Good morning. To start things off, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to our teachers, mentors, and friends, who have supported us every step of the way. I will also like to express a special thanks to mom and dad. Without your guidance and encouragement, I would not be standing here today. It’s very much a significant milestone in our lives, as we stand on the threshold of a new beginning, we can’t help but reflect on the journey that has gotten us here. It’s been an amazing journey, filled with Friday night lights, PEP rallies and tractor parades, but through it all we persevered, and today we come out as stronger or wiser individuals, ready to take on the world. Today, we not only celebrate our individual achievements, but also the collective strength of our class. Together we persevered through a virtual freshman year, lots of USA test prep, and coach Blocker’s science class. As we bid farewell to this chapter of our lives, let us cherish the memories we’ve created and carry the bonds of friendship where ever we go. Congratulations class of 2024. As we step out in the world, let us embrace opportunities that await with courage and optimism.”

Amelia Harnage gave the valedictorian address: “While preparing this speech, I did not know the purpose of this speech. I knew that I needed to thank my parents for their support, and of course I knew that this speech was supposed to make anyone who listened feel moved, but moved by what? I found that this valedictory speech was a farewell address to my classmates to remember what we have accomplished and to give inspiration for the future, so good bye and good luck!”

She talked about their journey. “Along the way we have our fair share of struggles. The stress of school, love ones leaving, health problems and much more. As the great philosopher Epictetus said, it’s not what happens to you, but how you react that matters. While changes may cause obstacles that we cannot control we can choose to stay positive in hard times. For myself, I can confidently say that God has helped me overcome any obstacle on my journey to this moment. He has always been faithful to me through all my battles with my physical and mental health. As some of you may know, I had battled CROHN’s disease, but I made it here with all of you, through Christ who gives us strength.” She also thanked her family and friends for their support and congratulated the class. “Thank you for listening, and congratulations to this lifetime class of 2024 as we say farewell to our high school and step into a whole new world.”

After graduation, Samuel Garrett Forehand, from Americus, told what it felt like to be newly graduated. “it’s awesome. It feels special.” He told about memorable moments from his high school experience. “Golden State championship and football. That was memorable. Lunch tables with my friends, just hanging out with my friends in general.” When asked if he had anything else to say to his fellow graduates, he replied: “Congratulations.”

Chloe Wodzinski, from Americus, also shared her experience graduating, saying it was “Exciting.” when asked what her plans were after graduation, she replied: “I plan on going to GSW and going to nursing school.” When asked if she had anything to her fellow graduates she replied: “I would say to them, we did it! We went through a lot of hard times together and now we can start this next journey of our lives.”

Kabreon Jarkel Aldridge, from Ellaville, told what it felt like to graduate. “I haven’t felt nothing yet, but it’s going to hit later.” He talked about his plans to attend university: “I’m going to school to play football and major in business.” When asked if he had anything to say to the graduates, he replied: “It’s over!”

Diana Wills is a graduate from Ellaville who finished a pathway in early childhood education. When asked what it feels like to graduate, she said, “it feels scary but like fun at the same time, because you don’t know what is going to happen.” She talked about her future plans. “I’m gonna to go to GSW and go in for childhood education.” When asked if she have anything to say to her fellow graduates she added: “Good luck, stay oughta jail, stay oughta trouble and don’t do anything stupid.”

Jay Kanazawa from Ellaville told what it felt like to graduate. “It’s kinda bitter sweet. I’m excited for college, but at the same time its’ kinda sad too. I’m not sure if I want to leave everybody behind yet.” When asked if he had anything to say to his fellow graduates he said: “Congratulations, and I wish everyone happiness in their future.” When asked about his plans he replied “I’m gonna attend Berry College in Rome, Georgia. I’m playing football and I’m gonna major in finance.”