In its third commencement, Concordia Parish Academy graduates Class of 2022

Published 8:19 pm Friday, May 13, 2022

NATCHEZ — In its third commencement ceremony, Concordia Parish Academy of Math, Science and Technology graduated 21 members of its Class of 2022.

Hundreds of friends and family filled the Vidalia Conference and Convention Center on the city’s riverfront Friday night to watch the graduates receive their high school diplomas.

Concordia Parish Academy began as a pre-kindergarten through fifth grade school, and expanded to pre-kindergarten to 12th grade three years ago.

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Even though Friday was only Concordia Parish Academy’s third graduating class, most of the students who graduated this year have been together for 10 years of more, said Valedictorian Brooklyn Hall.

Hall had the school’s high grade point average. Salutatorian was E’Marion Powell, who had the school’s next highest average in the Class of 2022.

Hall said her classmates had become like family. “We gathered together to support one another,” she said.

Hall quoted scripture Jeremiah 29:11, the King James Version and the New International Version.

“The King James version says, ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,’ ” Hall said. “The New International version puts it this way: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’ No matter what life throws at us, we have to get back up and strive ahead,” Hall said.

“We have accomplished a major milestone in life,” Powell told his fellow graduates. “This isn’t the end. It’s just the start.”

The graduation, scheduled for outside at the amphitheater across from the convention center, was moved indoors because of the threat of rain, said the school’s principal, Whest Shirley.

“When I was coming in, someone said to me, ‘Whest, you miss it. No rain.’ I told them, ‘Yeah, and I’m not sweating!’ ”

Seven members of the graduating class received special Concordia Diplomas, which are awarded to students who graduate with at least a 2.5 grade point average, master the state’s core curriculum requirements, score a minimum of 22 on their ACT and are involved with dual enrollment with a college or university.

Receiving the Concordia Diplomas were David Anders, Joshua Brew, Jashayla Bright, Garrett Dobson, Brooklyn Hall, E’Marion Powell and Alexis Whitehead.

Ten members of the CPA graduating class also received their associate’s degree in general studies from Northwestern State University through the dual enrollment program offered to students at the academy. They include David Anders, Emma Braley, Joshua Montgomery Brew, Jashayla Bright, Emmi Marie Davis, Brooklyn Hall, E’Marion Powell, Joshua Juneau and Alexis Whitehead.

The entire graduating class included Brooklyn Taraea Hall, E’Marion Chris’Teon Powell, Emma Grace Braley, Emmi marie Davis, Jashayla Che’Briele Bright, Alexis Sierra Whitehead, Jeanne Marie Strauss, Journi Keagan Levite, Marquis Shamar Caston, Zy’Kil Unique Me’El Allen, Taylon Meyon Smith, David Christopher Anders, Joshua Tyler Juneau, Ahsyria Juliet Williams, Kaylyn Mekenzie White, Conner Dewayne Sandy, Joshua Montgomery Brew, Stephen Anthony Morgan, Derrick Cayden Carson, Garrett Burkey Dobson and Mar’Zadaris Ramone Robinson.