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County seniors embark on new course

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined,” that’s was the advice given by Straughn High School’s valedictorian Tiffany Freeney to her fellow classmates as they sat together one last time as seniors.

Students, along with those from Florala, Pleasant Home, Red Level and Opp, donned their cap and gowns to graduate Thursday as the “Class of 2010.”

Freeney said that during their 13 years together and the pursuit of their dreams, she and fellow classmates have encountered many obstacles.

“We did not face these obstacles alone, however,” she said. “We were accompanied by many helpful and loving teachers. They gave us the tools we needed to succeed and always pointed us down the right path.”

Freeney commended the teachers for an “amazing job of instructing us in the classroom, they also did a great job of putting us on the right path of life.

“They were there to see us off to our first day of kindergarten, and now they will see us walk across this field to receive our diplomas. We know they have done so much for us over these years,” she said.

To her classmates, Freeney said the night was a night they had waited on for years and that their futures were bright.

“I know we wouldn’t have it any other way,” she said. “I hope that you have all found some source of inspiration in your family, school employees and classmates, because now we are going out to make a name for ourselves.”

Across the county, Pleasant Home’s Josh Godwin said the day was a day to be “thankful and be inspired.”

Godwin said the teachers and coaches at PHS taught the class the elements that facilitate success.

Godwin credited the families of the graduates for supporting them throughout the journey through high school.

“They are the one who have supported us throughout this roller coaster ride we call high school,” he said. “And, somehow they have miraculously managed to not strangle us despite our stubbornness and rebellion.

“This high school education is like our passport to the future, but remember tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”

Godwin said that for the past 18 years, the class had a “backseat in our own lives, but now we have been thrust into the driver’s seat.

“Now we are making the decision and are also responsible for the outcome of that choice,” he said. “Yet, this shouldn’t scare us enough to make us shy sway from this newfound responsibility.”

Godwin said he asked himself, “What do I have to look forward to?”

“I found the answer to be everything or anything I want it to be,” he said. “Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life – define yourself.”

Pleasant Home School graduates toss their hats after graduation.