Concordia Parish Academy honors second graduating class

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, May 19, 2021

NATCHEZ — On Friday, Concordia Parish Academy of Math Science and Technology celebrated the graduation of 17 students.

It was the second graduation ever for the young school, which opened in 2012 with 120 students in kindergarten through fifth-grade. The school added a new grade level as students were promoted each year. Ten students graduated in 2020, making the class of 2021 the school’s largest graduating class yet.

Graduation day was bittersweet for the close-knit class and for Concordia Parish Academy Director Nancy Anders who is retiring this year, she said.

“I was very touched and honored by the class as they presented me with a dozen roses for my retirement,” Anders said.

Students received a total of $463,968.08 in scholarship funds and seven of the 17 students, including J’Lon Prosser, Brennan Remington, Jasmine Stockstill, Micah Lawrence, Josiah Reed, Samantha Chavez and Thomas Olexy, received 60 hours of college credits and an associate’s degree from Northwestern State University.

Anders said students were also left with another parting gift.

“Wesley and Darlene Gilbert were setting up the keyboard and sound system. A gentleman walked up to them and handed them $1,700,” she said. “He wanted each graduate’s family to have $100 so they could go out and celebrate their graduation with their family. Then he gave Wesley $200 to go get new sunglasses because his sunglasses were scratched.”

Valedictorian Prosser and Salutatorian Remington each received Concordia Parish diploma awards in addition to receiving their high school diploma and an associate’s degree from Northwestern State University.

Concordia Parish diploma awards are given by the school district to students who maintain high standards in academics.

Prosser, the son of Keisha and Kenneth Prosser, plans to study kinesiology and pre-physical therapy at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

In his valedictory speech, Prosser recalled memories of how he and most of his classmates annoyed their teachers and bonded while voting on the school mascot and school colors while they were in fourth-grade when CPA first opened.

“I can’t believe that we won’t sit in class and see each other every day anymore,” he said. “They say all good things come to an end but I’m more than certain that this good thing will last forever. … As we walk out of this graduation today, as graduates, let this not be a ‘goodbye.’ Let this be a, ‘see you later.’”

Remington, the son of Jessica Remington and Bart Remington, also plans to attend ULM and study psychology and later pursue a master’s degree in clinical psychology.

In his speech, Remington challenged his classmates to build upon the knowledge they have gained through high school, treat others with kindness and remember, “success isn’t determined by how others view you; it is determined by you.”

“My best advice I can give is to open your ears and give people a chance, because they’ll surprise you,” he said. “There is a lot to learn from everyone you meet. We are all individuals trying to make our mark in the world we live in, and together we can edify each other by providing that standing ovation our fellow conductors seek.”