Small Trinity Episcopal class dreams big at graduation

Published 12:06 am Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trinity Episcopal School graduating senior Kayla Gilmore hugs her aunt Norma Hammett after graduating Saturday with her eleven other classmates. (Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat)

Trinity Episcopal School graduating senior Kayla Gilmore hugs her aunt Norma Hammett after graduating Saturday with her eleven other classmates. (Sam Gause | The Natchez Democrat)

NATCHEZ — It wasn’t the numbers that mattered Saturday as 12 members of Trinity Episcopal Day School’s class of 2015 left the Trinity Episcopal Church looking to the sky.

It was their experience.

“What we have as a class surpasses what huge classes have with each other,” said Valedictorian Alex Miller. “We have experienced events throughout our high school careers that have made us into the people we are today.”

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Miller decided he could address the graduating class in multiple ways, which would include the cliché thanks for being such a wonderful class speech, praising teachers for their academic support, or composing a speech on how the graduating class succeeded through unique high school experiences.

But Miller chose to shine light on something meaningful to his heart, a small class with a lot of knowledge.

Miller stood in front of the crowd and preached that the graduating class has persevered through mistakes and success — changing the way his class interacts with the people around them.

“If you take away Trinity, the way that we interact with each other, and the many other relationships that we have begun in the past four years of our lives, we are totally different people,” Miller said.

Miller urged the graduating class to remember where they came from.

“If we choose to dwell on the size of our class, we will become too caught up into something that we cannot control and forget to care for our own personal future,” Miller said. “As we process out of this church, a new chapter begins for all of us.”

Miller has earned a full academic scholarship to the University of Mississippi’s Honor’s College, where he will study accounting.

When Alex Patel approached the stand to give his salutatory address, he noted to the graduating class that despite difficult months, they managed to find their way.

He later went on to compare his alma mater to a lollipop, which those in attendance found amusing.

“It looks great on the outside, takes forever to get through it and once you’re done, you’re going to miss it.”

Patel plans on attending the University of Alabama to study healthcare management and pre-pharmacy.

Trinity Head of School Les Hegwood told the story of Jesus and his disciples, as Jesus would remind them constantly that they were ready to take on the world.

As Hegwood addressed the graduating class, he reminded them that they were ready by compiling a list of special qualities for each graduating senior.

As he looked toward graduating senior Kyler Parks, he reminded her that she was ready because of the gift she has of being calm, strong, thoughtful and compassionate for others — great traits Parks learned growing up with her parents.

“My parents taught me to work hard. You are not going to be given anything in life,” Parks said. “And basically just make connections with people because you never know when you are going to meet them again.”

Parks plans on attending Mississippi State University this fall to study communications.

“I feel like it’s just kind of a blur,” Parks said. “It’s probably not going to be real to me until this summer when it’s over with.”

Six graduating seniors graduated as a member of the National Honor Society.