Delta Storm prepare to storm the world as graduates

Published 1:25 pm Monday, May 22, 2023

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FERRIDAY, La. — Nearly forty students weathered the Delta Storm and graduated from Delta Charter School on Friday evening, including 23 honor graduates.

Valedictorian Addison Patricia Jackson thanked DCS faculty, staff and administrators for providing a nurturing environment while also “being real” with her classmates.

“You have taught us all so much, helped us with work while also leaving behind so many lessons. Without you, we would not be here today,” she said.

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Jackson graduates with a 98.26 numerical average and a 4.26 grade point average for her four years of his school. She has also earned 30 dual enrollment hours toward her studies at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she plans to major in Marriage and Family Therapy.

She has attended Delta Charter since the school opened, while she was in third-grade.

She has been a member of the cheerleading squad for four years, where she served as Captain. She earned All-American for five years straight and represented Delta Charter at Disney World for their annual Thanksgiving Parade. She also served as the senior class president and student council president, as a member of the National Beta Club and the yearbook committee.

She recalled many class memories, from running around the playground playing “lava monster,” crazy dances, and wild inside jokes to now trading up their days of “no cellphones in class” for a cap and gown.

“While some of us will leave and others will stay, the memories made here, together, will always be familiar,” she said.

As the graduates prepare to start a new chapter on their own, Jackson left them with one last lesson.

“Do not dwell on the things that you cannot change. Sometimes situations are out of your control and it is OK. There will be times to step up and times to walk away. The next thing I will leave you with is to be open to new experiences. You cannot grow when you are comfortable. If you convince yourself that everything has to go a certain way and be right on the dotted line, then you will not live up to your true capabilities because sometimes you have to be truly tested in order to see how you will shine.”

Salutatorian Jolee Amber Dillard has maintained a 98.17 numerical average and a 4.29 grade point average through the last four years and has also earned 30 dual enrollment credits.

She represented Delta Charter on the basketball team for several years and was named to the Louisiana High School Athletic Association All-Academic team. She has also been a member of National Beta Club, Student Council, Yearbook committee and served as Class Vice-President.

She will be attending Louisiana Tech and majoring in Criminal Psychology.

Dillard, too, shared memories she and her classmates experienced together, recalling that two of those years had been interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We made the best of it through one last crazy sleepover and lake birthday parties before quarantine, but sometimes it still feels as though we are still fifteen years old getting ready for boring school-affiliated homecomings in the cafeteria that everyone was going to leave after ten minutes,” she said. “Sophomore year was filled with a mixture of online and in-person classes. I will never forget being on Zoom meetings with Mrs. Price or watching Devin and Will slap each other with banana peels in Spanish class.”

Dillard said each challenge has made her class “resilient, adaptable, and anxious” to leave their mark on the world.

“Through it all, we have persevered, pushing beyond our limits and reaching new heights,” she said. “We have learned that success is not solely defined by grades or accolades but by the lessons we have learned and the impact we have made on the lives of those around us.”

Dillard thanked God and all of the school personnel and families who attended Friday night’s commencement services for her class’ success.

“Our success would not have been possible without the unwavering support of God and all of you here tonight,” she said. “You have been our guiding light, our pillars of strength, and our unwavering cheerleaders and for that we thank you. To our dedicated teachers and staff, we express our deepest gratitude for your tireless efforts in shaping our minds and nurturing our passions. You have inspired us to dream big, think critically, and always strive for excellence. Your kindness will never be forgotten.”