Their angel in the sky: Ferriday graduates remember fallen classmate

Published 12:50 am Friday, May 18, 2018

FERRIDAY — Seventy-six graduates and one angel were celebrated Thursday night during the Ferriday High School commencement.

Wearing buttons in memory of LaKitress “Bubba” Williams, the class of 2018 dedicated the night to a classmate who died four years ago — a victim of a shooting in Ridgecrest.

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Valedictorian Kierstin Carr-Burns and salutatorian Jasmine Lewis stood at the podium together as they read a poem written to Williams. 

“We are all looking forward to the day we graduate high school, but making that milestone without you is not going to be cool. But as we cross that stage and sing it will be for you Bubba — our classmate, our friend,” Lewis read as Carr-Burns wiped away tears.

During their speeches, both graduates talked about the challenges the class has faced and the lesson they have learned.

“Someone once said to me, ‘Challenges make you discover things about yourself that you never really knew,” Lewis told the group of family and friends gathered at the football field. “I think our class has discovered that our capabilities are much greater than we anticipated.”

Carr-Burns told her classmates that more challenges lie ahead.

“We must remember that those challenges will only make us stronger,” Carr-Burns said. “I’ve been told that the path in life is not a straight path, but a yellow-brick road instead.”

Carr-Burns said like Dorothy in the “Wizard of OZ” her classmates must continue down the path of life with faith, moving forward positively no matter the obstacles.

Carr-Burns also reminded her classmates to show the world “what greatness can come from this small town.”

At the end of the speeches, the awards and the diplomas the Class of 2018 tossed their caps high in the sky, mindful of the challenges of the future and their fallen classmate.

“Watch us as we throw these caps way up high,” Lewis said as she recited the last lines of the poem to Williams. “It will be in your memory — our angel in the sky.”