Trinity graduates come full circlePublished 1:10am Monday, May 21, 2012
By Mollie Beth Wallace
NATCHEZ — Over the creaking of the pews and the stirring of the audience, Trinity Episcopal Day School’s Joseph McClatchy, President of the senior class, welcomed friends and family to a celebration of the monumental moment in his classmates’ lives.
Quoting Jon Bon Jovi, salutatorian Kathryn Steele congratulated her class on how for they have come.
“This is your life,” Steele said. “You made it this far. Welcome to wherever you are.”
Steele said she attended Trinity since she was in preschool, and she recounted some of the memories she held dearest.
“I had the time of my life,” she said as she remembered playing basketball and softball.
Steele also noted the circumference of her journey through school, remembering when she received her “Big Sister” as a kindergartner. Steele said she came full circle when she received her own two little sisters as a senior this year.
Valedictorian Madeline Iles quoted the ancient proverb, “It takes a village to raise a child,” and explained that Trinity and Natchez each had a hand in rearing her class.
“The key principal of a small-town community is interdependence,” she said. “We have grown up not as strangers, but as a tight-knit community where you can ask for help almost anywhere.”
Iles said she knows that in 20 years her classmates will still be there for her.
“Everywhere we go we represent each other,” she said. Iles said they take the institutions of Natchez with them on their journey in pursuit of honor and glory.
As the time to move the tassels drew near, the Rev. Brandt Dick, Chaplain of Trinity Episcopal Day School, urged the graduates to go forth into the world in peace.
“How you pursue happiness determines the kind of person you are,” Dick said. “The good news is that you can choose the kind of person you are. The bad news is that you have to live with that choice.”
Dick reminded the graduates to see the good in the world and hold fast to good once they find it.
After receiving their diplomas, the 27 graduates filed out of the church and into the afternoon sun to throw their hats in celebration.
Picking up his hat from the steps, Terrence Hunter said he is excited to enter the next chapter in his life and plans to attend Fordham University in New York to study English.
Hunter said he wants to finish college in four years and then go to law school.
Further down the steps, Margaret Ward said that she will miss her friends when she moves to Oxford to attend the University of Mississippi this fall.
Ward was one of 11 seniors who attended Trinity Day School from kindergarten through twelfth grade.
On the sidewalk, Rosie Woods received hugs and congratulations from her family.
Her mother, Florence Woods, said she was excited to see her daughter receive her diploma. Woods said she will attend Alcorn State University where she will play basketball and pursue a degree in criminal justice.
The crowd spilled onto Commerce Street, and Jake Wilson was all smiles as he held his diploma in hand. Winston said he received a scholarship from the University of Southern Mississippi to play baseball.
While their parents cheered and shed a few tears, the graduates said they were excited to see what the future holds.