The 23rd annual superintendents’ banquet was held at the Walker County Civic Center, with those students’ parents attending the honorary dinner.
Walker County schools superintendent Damon Raines opened with several famous quotes of encouragement from former Apple CEO Steve Jobs, comedian Jim Carrey, and actor Will Rogers.
“Don’t go where the path may lead. Go instead to where there is no path and leave a trail,” Raines recounted a classic Ralph Waldo Emerson quote.
Another, more humorous, one from Miles Kington: “Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing that a tomato doesn't belong in a fruit salad.”
LaFayette High School principal Mike Culberson introduced the first top ten grouping of 26 students. He spoke about the historical differences for the generations and how quickly the last two years have gone for the soon-to-be graduates.
“Being a parent myself of a recent graduate, I know how fast time will fly by, and I want you to enjoy next year in college with priorities,” Culberson said. “Time is going to continue to fly by. It gets faster and faster. Take your studies seriously, but don’t lose sight of how quickly you’re turning into your parents. That’s a good thing, by the way.”
Ridgeland High School principal Glen Brown recognized 25 seniors, who have worked hard to continue the positive trends of recent years while redefining the way in which the community embraces the school.
The current seniors told Brown, during his first year as principal, “We need to close the gap between the reality of Ridgeland High School and the outside perception.” Brown credits this class for blazing a new trail for their own future, as well as the goals for upcoming grade levels.
The valedictorian for RHS is a prep-school prospect who is also a standout student athlete, Daniel Johnson.
Erin Higdon is the valedictorian for LHS and Jessica Ingram will be the salutatorian.
Gordon Lee Memorial High School principal Clay Crowder announced the top (eleven) students, three of whom could not make the event due to their basketball team’s state championship game in Macon on March 7.
Art students at GLMHS created the artwork and theme for the event, based on a quote from AA Milne, author of the “Winnie-the-Pooh” series: “When you see someone pulling on his big boots, you can be pretty sure that an adventure is going to happen.”
Chickamauga schools superintendent Melody Day encouraged the students to continue to strive to succeed in the classroom and in life.
“Never doubt your ability to achieve excellence,” Day said. “You’ve proven this over and over in your high school career. Set goals for yourself, work hard and do the best you can, but don’t forget to have a little fun along the way.”
Gordon Lee Memorial High School top 11 graduates: Ashley L. Bankston, Katherine Laura Brager, Kassidy Diane Blevins, Sara Elizabeth Clayton, Ashley Nicole Easley, Elizabeth Paige Haney, Troy Lee Moss, Lindsey Nicole Neal, Landon Derrell O’Neal, Anna Claire Thomas, and Kaleigh Ashton Witt.
LaFayette High School’s top ten percent of graduates: Blane Arthur Bennett, Tori Athena Brooks, Kaleb Christian Burrage, Chasity Briana Burse, Mackenzie Dare Campbell, Brice Kane Cleverley, Adrianne Leigh Couch, Katie Elizabeth Dees, Madeline Godfrey Ensley, Lillie Katherine Freeman, Jamie Morgan Gall, Caitlin Ranae Haynes, Johnathan Cade Helton, Erin Nicole Higdon, McCaela Alanna Hogue, Austin Chase Horne, Victoria Rose Hunter, Jessica Nicole Ingram, Jerrica Leigh Littlejohn, Cody Glen Marchant, William Lawrence Mefford, Emily Allison Purcell, Kelly Christine Tipton, Jeffery Chad Wallin, Lauren Lani Watkins, and Daniel Preston Witt.
Ridgeland High School’s top ten percent of graduates: Megan Lindsay Bauer, Micah Ja’net Blackwell, Daniel William Blankenship, Sarah Louise Brown, Melinda Dawn Curtis, Kassie Nicole Duke, Jason Miguel Garcia, Donald Tyler Ray Garmany, Samantha Leigh Gentry, Alysia Kerry Graham, John Christopher Carter Gravitt, Stephen Michael Howard, Daniel Coleman Johnson, Jazmond Cia Lewis, Mikayla Leigh Lowe, Kaitlyn Montana Loy, Kathleen Wanda Lutton, Katelyn Hope Mann, Jessica Haley Pickard, Jennifer Danielle Reed, Coty Lebron Riddle, Amber Rose Smith, Davey Wayne Smith, Elena Susanne Thornton, and Amber Nicole Wyrick.