GALLERY: Cathedral High School graduates 36 students

Published 6:30 am Monday, May 27, 2024

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NATCHEZ — Students in green graduation gowns waved goodbye to Cathedral High School on Friday night and now seek new horizons as high school graduates.

For the Class of 2024 Salutatorian Sarah Katherine Cauthen, the horizon begins at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, where she plans to study to become a pharmacist.

Throughout her high school career, Cauthen maintained a 4.31 grade point average.

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The Class of 2024 Valedictorian Braeden Jarrod Gregg will be attending the University of Mississippi in the fall where he intends to pursue a degree in biochemistry with plans to become a dermatologist. He maintained a 4.33 grade point average throughout his four years in high school.

Cathedral High School graduated a total of 36 students on Friday and awarded one posthumous diploma to Jordan Herrington, who died in 2022 as a 15-year-old sophomore in a car accident.

Cauthen recalled the sorrow her class felt at this and other personal losses she had as she delivered her commencement speech, including her grandmother and her beloved dog Macey.

“I believed that I would never be able to be happy again,” she said. “Once I got to school, prepared to wallow in my depression, my friends lifted me up and made me laugh. Though I was sad, they surrounded me with positivity.”

Cauthen said when her class lost Herrington, it taught them to love each other unconditionally and make the most of the short time they had left together in high school.

“Not a single person believed that they could breathe without him. We thought that was the end. How could life go on? But it had to. We realized the importance of one another and worked together to keep moving,” she said.

As the world continued turning, she realized that true love doesn’t come from only one person.

“It’s in the people who are with you through the hard times and pick you up when you make a mistake. It’s the ones who remain constant. That is what this class is to me, and I wholeheartedly love every single one of you,” she said.

“Though we will be moving away in all different directions, I refuse to let this be the end of our story together. Thank you, my classmates, for showing me and showing one another what it means to truly be loved. We will cherish these memorable years as we take the next steps.”

Gregg recalled the memories he’d made with his classmates in kindergarten through senior year. He said though a lot has changed at Cathedral in that time, one constant has been that every student has been given numerous opportunities to grow.

Joining the football team as a rookie freshman helped him learn about his teammates’ strengths and weaknesses and form friendships as he looked up to the upperclassmen, Gregg said.

“I’ve watched all my classmates grow and experienced many different teachers with different abilities,” he said.

The most difficult class, Gregg said, was AP English Composition, taught by Jean Biglane. He and his classmates spent many sleepless nights pouring their heart and soul into every assignment and were driven to “near insanity,” he said.

While this taught them to think critically, Elizabeth McCann’s class taught them essential life skills, like how to pay taxes.

“Cathedral has given us many opportunities to grow academically and form friendships,” he said. “Each of us now embarks on a journey to find our place in society. We may go to college to continue our education or begin working as soon as we graduate. Either way, we will make an impact in society and never forget our roots at Cathedral.”