Celebrating with purpose: Ferriday High graduates 81 in commencement

Published 3:06 am Friday, May 12, 2017

By Christian Coffman

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Ferriday High School graduates were reminded although Thursday’s commencement ceremony was a celebration, life after graduation will rely on faith, persistence and determination.

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Valedictorian Octavia Sims told the class of 81 graduates that a sense of purpose was discovered from the knowledge she and her peers learned in the last four years.

“We have learned to cultivate a sense of purpose, that planning is good, and that setting goals is better, and we have learned that a work ethic is crucial,” Sims said.

Sims explained how the years after graduation would not be easy, but they will not be impossible for the Class of 2017, either.

“We just have to draw on our faith and remain persistent for what we seek in life,” Russ said. “Because at the end of the day, we can reminisce on the strenuous effort it took to get us where we will be, and we can actually say we did it.”

The Class of 2017 included 12 honor students, four special honor students, eight of which were Beta graduates.

A memorial presentation and a moment of silence were held for the loss of a classmate William Davis.

Salutatorian Zabreon Russ said much thanks should be given to the ones who meant the most to her.

“I would like to begin by giving thanks to our Almighty God because if it wasn’t for his mercy and unlimited love for us, we would not be present today,” Russ said.

“I also want to give tremendous thanks to everyone that has contributed to my classmates and I graduating today: our parents and guardians for loving us unconditionally, our teachers for instilling knowledge into us, and our staff members and principals for keeping our school afloat,” Russ said.

Russ challenged her classmates to refuse to be another statistic or stereotype.

“We must do better, be better, love and uplift one another because this world is going to fail without unity, love and equality,” Russ said.

Russ told her peers to remain hopeful and optimistic about their futures.

“You possess the key to a successful future,” Russ said.