SCHS Class of 2011 are now officially graduates

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Switzerland County High School held its graduation ceremony for the class of 2011 on a hot, sunny Sunday afternoon, but the large crowd inside the gym witnessed a wonderful commencement.

The ceremony began with the Switzerland County High School band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” and “The National Anthem”.

Jessie Ray, Class President, will led everyone in the “Pledge of Allegiance”; and valedictorian Ashley Green welcomed everyone. Class Salutatorian Julie Furnish then introduced honored guests in attendance and the class officers.

This year’s Baccalaureate speaker was introduced by class secretary Karoline Park, and the address was given by Patrick Lanman, pastor of Olive Branch Baptist Church, who spoke on Jeremiah 29:11. His remarks were followed by a prayer of invocation led by Ashley Green.

Director of Guidance Marla Edwards then presented those seniors who had earned academic honors, and math teacher and National Honor Society sponsor Pam Jones recognized the members of the National Honor Society. Marla Edwards will then awarded Technical Honors recognition for students from the Southeast Career Center; and then introduced the Top 10 Seniors in class rank.

Next was the introduction of the class salutatorian and valedictorians.

Student addresses followed.

This year’s first student address was presented by Valedictorian and Class Treasurer Emma Johnson. She was introduced by former high school teacher Shannon Barger. Emma Johnson spoke to her classmates, and then offered a “toast” to them, as the members of the class raised cups that had been positioned under their chairs

Sunday’s second student address was presented by Valedictorian and Class Vice President Kimberly Cox. She was introduced by former high school teacher Ann Roller.

Kim Cox, with reference to the movie “The Hangover”, spoke of entering school as a “one person wolfpack”, and then shared how her fellow classmates became part of her wolfpack as she moved through school.

With student speeches concluded, Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Jones then certified the class.

Diplomas were presented by Superintendent Jones and Bill Roberts, Vice President of the Switzerland County School Board of Trustees. Other school board members on stage included Wayne Daugherty, Nancy Peters, and Tonya Moore.

Following the presentation of diplomas, a Song of Tribute performed by class member Hilary Lanman, who sang “By Your Side”.

The benediction was given by Wayne Daugherty, who also serves as pastor at Fredonia Baptist Church; and Class President Jessie Ray led her class in the turning of tassels. With the class officially graduates, the new graduates celebrated by throwing confetti into the air as music played.

The band then played the recessional as graduates and members of the faculty left the gym; and the new graduates met family members and friends in front of the school under hot temperatures and bright sunshine.

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Editor’s note: Thanks to Kaleesa Archer of “K-Snap” Photography for providing photos of the graduation that appear here and also on page 9 of today’s edition, and allowing the editor to just be a ‘dad’ for a day.