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Seventy-six seniors graduates from Ferriday High School


FERRIDAY — A group of 76 students graduated from Ferriday High School Thursday evening in a ceremony on the football field.

Twenty-four of the graduates wore honors’ stoles and friends, family educators and peers surrounded all of them.

“Classmates, we have finally made it,” said Nayia Calhoun, salutatorian and daughter of Terry Watson, “and now is the time to look back and recognize our growth and transition over the years.”

Calhoun commended her classmates’ success and growth from elementary school up until their graduation Thursday and said that together they have made history and altered the perception of their school in the community by setting an example and leaving behind a legacy for the graduating classes to come.

“We fought for the integrity and academic success of our high school,” Calhoun said. “For that, we will always be something much bigger than just the class of 2019, but indeed a family. Memories have been made for sure, but most importantly we leave behind a legacy that reflects the value of academic excellence and leadership within Ferriday High School. … There is no script on how life should be for any of us, but we all hold the capability to become the first and inflict an impression that will leave the world on its knees.”

Meinyaun Smith, valedictorian and daughter of Shemeka Wilson, said each of her classmates demonstrated various degrees of success throughout their high school experience, some with relative ease and others with hard work.

“Luckily, success is not defined by what you have done compared to what others have done,” Wilson said. “Remember, you are a work in progress. Always remember where you came from and where you are going. … We are conquerors and defeat does not stand a chance.”

Wilson looked out on her family and friends cheering for her from their seats, and she reminded her classmates to always look to those who love them and support their ambitions for help when life gets challenging, just as she and her classmates have done for each other over the past 12 years, she said.

“This is not a goodbye,” Wilson said. “It’s an ‘I’ll see you later.’”

Monterey High School

MONTEREY — Friends and family members of 23 graduating seniors filled the Monterey High School gymnasium Saturday afternoon as the graduates decked in caps and gowns proceeded to the stage with “Pomp and Circumstance” playing over the loud speakers.

“It is really scary and exciting,” said Mallory Barlow, class valedictorian of graduation day. “It is sad to leave everybody behind that I’ve known for so long.”

Barlow, daughter of Lane and Donnah Barlow of Monterey, said most of the graduates had been through school together since P-K.

Barlow said she plans to go to Louisiana State University at Shreveport in the fall to study cellular and molecular biology with a concentration on pre-med.

In her valedictory speech Barlow said the relationships built in Monterey shaped the classmates into who they are today.

Salutatorian Hunter Lipsey, son of Jennifer and Glenn Lipsey of Monterey, said the day was a happy, sad day.

“There is a lot of excitement in looking forward to the future,” Lipsey said, “but it also is a time of sadness. It is probably the last time we will all be together. It is a happy, sad moment.”

Lipsey said he plans to attend Mississippi State University in the fall to pursue a degree in agronomy.

Delta Charter School

FERRIDAY — Twenty-eight of Delta Charter School’s athletes, scholars, heroes and comedians graduated to the next chapter of their lives Friday evening.

Colson Wade Thornton, Delta Charter’s salutatorian and son of Wade Thornton and Cindy Peterman, said he and his classmates put in a lot of hard work over the past 12 years of their lives, all for a piece of paper with their name on it.

“Who of us is excited for four more years of college and student debt? … At least it only gets easier from here,” Thornton said, jokingly.

Jokes aside, Thornton said he, and the rest of his class, have a lot of people to thank for helping them throughout grade school, including his family, teachers and fellow classmates.

Thornton maintained a 97.10 grade point average throughout high school and plans to study chemical engineering at Louisiana Tech University this fall.

“I have seen bonds transcend blood,” Thornton said. “I’m not saying that this class in particular is a family … just that most of us now have new brothers and sisters, both young and old.”

Lara Elisabeth Boothe, valedictorian and daughter of Leo and Kim Boothe, said she felt extremely proud of all of her classmates, some of whom would depart from Delta Charter School to play sports for universities or fight in the U.S. military.

Boothe maintained a 97.14 grade point average throughout high school and plans to attend Louisiana State University this fall and pursue a medical degree.

“While we sat in class, I watched you as you stressed over tests, obsessed over what new strategy the team learned for the upcoming game and complained about having to rush to work after school,” Boothe said to her classmates. “In these moments, I have seen the best in each of you.”


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