Paula Cronic: PNT Staff Writer
An emotionally charged commencement ceremony filled with moments of saddness and moments of joy took place Saturday at Floyd High School. The group of students came together one last time as the senior class of FHS to receive their diplomas and the right to be called a high school graduate.
Before the ceremony, the graduates gathered together to pose for photographs for family and friends. The mood between the graduates, who posed for serious and humorous photos alike, seemed to be that of eagerness and anticipation.
“It’s awesome and exciting, I have been waiting for this for forever,” FHS senior Brad Lee said. He also said that playing in the state championship for football was one of his proudest high school accomplishments.
Some of Lee’s fellow graduates were feeling the same way. Rebecca Blue said not only was she excited but also very nervous. Valedictorian Kelli Johnson was just glad to be done.
“It’s a relief really, to be able to move on and be past high school,” she said. Johnson said she put a lot of hard work into high school and in to reaching her goal of becoming valedictorian.
“It gets hard towards the end of senior year,” said Johnson
Guest speaker and teacher, Dawn Bilbrey, offered advice to the students. In her speech, she gave them five hind-sights that she lives by. She urged them to pursue joy in all they do because according to Bilbrey, true joy is not just happiness.
“True joy can be found deep inside yourself,” said Bilbrey, “you must spend time reflecting on what you are and what it is that makes you complete.”
She also said to be pro-active, play to win, continue to learn and honor loved ones which she said was most important to her.
“Honor your family and loved ones while you have them with you,” said Bilbrey.
Salutatorian Brittney Burns and Johnson followed, addressing their classmates and letting the audience know that the bonds they had formed with one another would not soon be broken.
The ceremony continued with each graduate giving out calla lilies to their families and going into the audience to give them hugs. This part of the ceremony struck an emotional chord for the families as they embraced their child and congratulated them on their success.
At the end of the ceremony a picture slide show was presented showing photos of each graduate and the times they have had together.