Switzerland County Class of 2007 graduates with cheers, tears, and toilet paper

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Switzerland County High School held its graduation ceremony for the Class of 2007 this past Sunday, and an overflow crowd witnessed the class hold a graduation filled with floods of emotion and fun. The crowd was so big that even the air conditioned gymnasium couldn’t keep cool, with temperatures rising inside and out.

The program began with senior members of the high school choir – Aaron Deacon, Kylie Floyd, Brenna Green, and Jennifer Taylor singing the National Anthem.

The processional was then played by the Switzerland County Junior-Senior High School Band under the direction of Tammy Beitzel. The high school faculty entered first, and this year the teacher wore gowns with their degree colors, adding to the formality of the program.

After the seniors were seated, senior class co-secretary Stephanie Adams, senior class treasurer Hannah Findley, and senior class vice president Ashley Bright led the audience in the “Pledge of Allegiance.”

Stephanie Adams then gave the invocation; and high school principal Candis Haskell welcomed everyone to the graduation. This year’s baccalaureate address was given by Pastor Mike Jones of Patriot Baptist Church, who also teaches at the high school. He challenged the graduates to continue to strive for excellence in all that they do, relating quotes and thoughts from historic figures to illustrate his points.

Director of Guidance Denise Loaring then presented the graduates who had achieved academic honors recognition.

High School social studies teacher Shannon Barger introduced class salutatorian Sara Craig, who reflected on the milestones that her classmates had already achieved, from kindergarten through middle school to sitting in graduation ceremonies.

Following Sara Craig’s speech, teacher Ann Roller introduced class valedictorian Hannah Findley, who displayed her ever present charm and wit as she challenged her fellow graduates to greater heights.

Denise Loaring then introduced those students who earned a Core 40 diploma, and also the Top 10 members of the graduating class.

Principal Candis Haskell then certified the class; and superintendent of schools Tracy Caddell officially accepted the class as graduates.

Diplomas were presented by Tracy Caddell, Candis Haskell, assistant principal Kent Dunning, and Denise Loaring.

After the class members have received their diplomas, the class will be presented as graduates by class president Sara Craig, who was joined at the podium by Hannah Findley. They moved each other’s graduation tassel, and then proceeded down to their classmates, where they began a procession of one graduate turning the tassel of the graduate seated next to them. The process continued until all of the graduates had participated.

Class co-secretary Sydney Pike then gave the benediction, and as she concluded, each of the graduates reached beneath their seat, pulling out a roll of toilet paper and tossing it into the air as they celebrated as a class.

The display gave the gymnasium an air of celebration, and as the band began to play the recessional, the graduates didn’t seem to want to leave the gym, staying back to congratulate each other and continue the celebration.