SHS: Time to bridge memories, tomorrows

Published 2:27 am Saturday, May 26, 2018

Straughn’s graduation speeches focused a memory of the yesterdays and the promise of tomorrows.

Abigail Thomas, the valedictorian, reminded her classmates, “We’re young, but we won’t be young forever.

“Think of graduation as a new beginning of your life,”

Thomas credited her speech to those that shared wisdom with her throughout her life.

“This speech is, in bits and pieces, a reiteration of their words,” she said.

Thomas reminded her classmates that their future is in their hands.

“There is no excuse not to achieve success of some degree, attaining a steady life and future is up to us. We have all the tools, we just have to get moving and use them.”

It’s not a measure of popularity, Thomas said.

“Success is measured by what we do with our God-Given abilities,” she said.

“Also, we must not forget to enjoy the ordinary things in life,” Thomas said.

“We must work hard to stand for the truth and what we believe in, while allowing others their own opinion. There will be low points and people will sometimes let us down, but as long as we believe in ourselves and have faith, we can achieve anything,”

There should no sadness in graduating, Thomas said.

“Think about how we’re moving on in life to something bigger and better,” she said.

“Our lives will be as great as we make them.”

Following Thomas, Hannah Lawless, the salutatorian, took the stage for her speech, focusing on the past.

“Our class came through Straughn Elementary School like a storm. We were smart, we worked hard, and we accomplished things many young people could not. We caught the eye of the other classes, not just because of intelligence, athletic ability, talents and good looks- we were family from the start and that set us apart,” she said.

Lawless reminded her peers of the good memories and the bad, from wearing silly bands to the loss of Jodeci Powell, a classmate that passed away in the first grade.

“We conquered in math tournaments, excelled in the classroom and on the court and surpass other kids in character from kindergarten to the fifth grade. We had a strong foundation,” she said.

“Perhaps the most eventful years of our lives so far have been our high school years. We were confident freshmen.”

Lawless said as time progressed, the class only grew closer.

“Then on April 18, 2017, a major part of our class was taken away from us, a major part upheld in one person- Gordie Cartwright. Gordie left a legacy that is unforgettable. Our class has been through it all. We are family.”

Lawless ended her speech in a prayer for her fellow classmates, and wished her classmates well.