Adams County Christian School celebrates Class of 2014
Published 12:24 am Friday, May 23, 2014
NATCHEZ — With pride in their accomplishments in their hearts and some solid advice about getting a tattoo ringing in their ears, Adams County Christian School’s graduates walked across the front of First Baptist Church’s sanctuary to receive their diplomas.
The class of 2014 had 45 graduates, 16 of whom finished with honors. As the class moves forward with the next phase of its life, Valedictorian Sarah Clancy said, they have a responsibility to be good stewards of the talents and skills God has given them.
“The world is an ever-changing place filled with difficult challenges, and as graduates it is our responsibility to embrace those challenges and build a better future,” she said.
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“I am excited about what the future has for us. This is an exciting day.”
Salutatorian Ryan Lackey said he was thankful to God, his family, his classmates and his teachers.
“I can’t even count the memories I have made,” he said.
Lackey said his teachers at ACCS gave him tutelage in more than just math, science and the arts. They taught him about life.
“I have learned many important lessons from them that don’t even deal with school,” he said.
The keynote speaker at Thursday’s commencement exercises was Judge Donna Barnes, an ACCS alumna who sits on the Mississippi Court of Appeals.
Barnes cautioned the graduates to realize they have not done much living yet.
“You don’t have to know what you want to do with your life,” she said. “Even if you think you know, you might not have considered all of the options available.
“As (a friend) said to me, ‘If senior citizen me could tell senior high me anything — if he would listen — it would be to forgive yourself for the times you got sidetracked. They still led you here.”
Barnes said she asked a group of those who graduated with her in 1978 what advice they would give, and the results were both profound and humorous. Barnes shared the collective wisdom of her graduating cohort with the class of 2014.
Don’t make lasting impressions with temporary attitudes, she said, and think twice before speaking because you can never take words back.
“Don’t do anything stupid, but if and when you do something stupid, don’t post pictures about it on Facebook,” she said.
“Cover yourself, and don’t get a tattoo unless you designed it yourself and thought about it for at least two years.”
The graduates should not search for approval or self-validation from others, but only from God, Barnes said, and they should try to leave the world better than they found it.
“Don’t sign up for a credit card — no matter what prize they are offering you — and if you do, be sure to pay it off every month,” she said.
“You know right from wrong, even if the wrong is suggested by someone you love.”
Graduates should leave their comfort zone, Barnes said, and realize that no one makes it on their own.
“Education opens doors,” she said. “You have to keep your eyes open to the doors the Lord will open for you.