FHS: We’ve put together puzzle pieces

Published 2:28 am Saturday, May 26, 2018

Florala High School Valedictorian Morgan Jackson compared high school to a jigsaw puzzle Friday night at graduation as she stood before her 26 classmates in the class of 2018.

“High school is a jigsaw puzzle at its finest,” Jackson said. “We are enter, or shoved, in without any pieces to start, but slowly we find small fragments to piece together and call it our own. We say this is who we are and who we are forever going to be.”

She goes on to explain how some pieces of the puzzle do not fit.

“Some pieces don’t fit, but yet we try to cram and shove them in there saying, ‘This is right. This one will fit,’” Jackson said. “Until we are left with a bent up, broken piece and only then we say, ‘OK this isn’t me, and it is not going to drag me down.’”

Jackson said that some pieces actually fit together, but something might happen to break them.

“And the pieces that do fit? You think you have it all figured out,” Jackson said. “Holding them proudly in your hands, then something comes along and bumps you just enough to send that perfectly fit puzzle flying through the air and shattering on the ground in front of your feet. So now you have yourself at rock bottom.”

She told her fellow classmates that now is the time to learn, to repeatedly change their minds and make mistakes.

“This is the end of chapter, or better words, short story,” Jackson said. “But honestly we haven’t even cracked the seal of the whole book yet. So really, the puzzle that we shattered before, it wasn’t meant to be mended yet. Those dirty and bumpy roads that we faced, they weren’t meant to be paved yet.”

She ended her speech by quoting Nathan Scott from the television show One Tree Hill.

“It’s the oldest story in the world. One day you’re 17 and planning for someday, and then quietly without you ever really noticing, someday is today, and that someday is yesterday and this is your life,” Jackson said.

Salutatorian Dallas Eastman took a different approach to his speech and read a poem that the senior class wrote together.

“To the graduating class of 2018, we started the year out as advanced and standard and now we end as seniors,” Eastman said. “We created a poem and it goes like this. “We are advanced and standard.

“We wonder who will succeed.

“We hear voices in the walls.

“We see the promise of greatness.

“We want to excel.

“We are advanced and standard.

“We pretend to be interested.

“We feel pressure from past failures.

“We touch graduation.

“We worry about our future.

“We cry for the memories.

“We are advanced and standard.

“We understand it must come to an end.

“We say good luck to future seniors.

“We dream of a new beginning.

“We try to work together.

“We hope to meet again. We are seniors.”

He ended his speech by quoting one of his teachers.

“Don’t be stupid, and make good choices,” he said. “Let us use our gifts and our time to make this world a better place.”

There were four students at FHS that were honor graduates that have maintained a 90 or above average during four years of high school. They are Jackson, Eastman, Madison Kelly and Peyton Zessin.

Zessin, Eastman and Jackson earned advanced diplomas.