Members of the Class of 2010 at DeKalb County High School were not going to let a forecast of rain dampen their spirits on graduation night vowing to proceed with the program whatever the weather, but not one drop of rain fell during the commencement Friday evening on the football field
It was a night of joy and celebration and afterwards, many of the graduates spent the night at school to participate in Project Graduation
Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to Meagan Sullivan and Grant James while the Citizenship Award was presented to Cynthia Woodward.
The White Rose is presented to a boy and girl from the class for outstanding achievement and leadership, academics, and other activities. The Citizenship Award is given to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding service, devotion and loyalty to DeKalb County High School.
The honors students were also recognized during the program including the Class Valedictorian Hunter Tramel and Salutatorian Wesley Blair.
A total of 165 students received diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby as their names were called by Principal Kathy Hendrix.
In his remarks to the Class, Valedictorian Hunter Tramel reflected on triumphs and remembered friends lost." We've all had our share of triumphs and failures, victories and defeats, but we've overcome the obstacles and finally reached this great milestone in our lives. When we leave here today, we will be able to celebrate our accomplishments and take pride in the young adults we've become throughout this journey at DeKalb County High School."
"Perhaps the most difficult aspect on our four year journey is the obstacles with which we've come face to face. In our sophomore year, we lost a dear friend and classmate, Hunter Davis. Hunter was a great friend to everyone around him. He was a loving son, brother, and friend, and he will never be forgotten. I'm sure Hunter is looking down upon us today, celebrating our accomplishments and successes with us. We also lost a beloved coach; Coach (Clay) Edwards. Coach Edwards was a big-hearted man that was supportive in everything he did. He put every ounce of effort and heart that he possessed in every activity he participated in. Last year, we also lost our beloved janitor, Mr. Billy Colwell. Janitor Billy was with us throughout high school. He would always be there to greet us in the lunchroom with a kind word, a joke, or a piece of candy. He knew everyone and wasn't afraid to lend students a helping hand. He constantly made bracelets for the students, and even gave students lunch money when they didn't have any. He was always supportive of our sports teams and any school function. Janitor Billy was great man, and he will be sincerely missed."
"Looking out into this crowd of graduating seniors, I see scientists that may someday find the cure for cancer; I see teachers that will broaden the horizons of many children; I see soldiers that will one day defend the freedom of our great country. Whichever path one chooses to take, I am reassured that all will be successful. Always remember Proverbs 3:5-6, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your path straight. Congratulations Class of 2010."
Amanda Ours, Class President, also spoke of fond memories. "In August, we didn't fully understand that in a year's time we would be departing ways and moving on. But during the past few weeks, we have all examined the situation and now we've come to terms with the fact that this year meant more than just "being a senior".
"DeKalb County High School has taken up four years of our lives...but we wouldn't trade the memories that we have made here for anything."
"As freshmen, we thought this day would never arrive. The first three years went by extremely slow. Then August 2009 arrived, and in a blink, here we are. Graduation Night, 2010. This will be the last time that we are gathered together as the senior class of DCHS. This is our night to indulge in our memories and friendships. Class of 2010, I wish you good luck in whatever the future holds for you. For some of us, this will be goodbye as we move forward toward our future. Never forget the experiences that we have shared. Let those memories go with you, wherever you are."
Championship high school basketball coach, author, and motivational speaker Michael Burt, in his commencement address to the class, urged the graduates to live each day with purpose and passion. "There's a clear difference between occupation and vocation. Find your unique voice in life. The best advice I can give you is find a coach. Find a mentor. Find a leader. Find somebody who chooses to see the good in you versus the bad. Somebody that builds you up versus tears you down. Somebody that can help you play at a different level. Everyday we have a choice to be optimistic or pessimistic. The real winners that I coach and work with everyday are the people that come in every single day and choose to see the good versus the bad. Don't ever use the excuse that I come from a small town so I can't do something big. Small towns and big dreams. In everyone's life our inner fire burns out. That fire is then burst into flames by an encounter with another person. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle our inner spirit. On behalf of First Bank who brought me here tonight, I want to say to all the graduates and all the families who helped with this process, God bless you and have a great future."