Charles Henderson holds graduation

Published 12:00 am Friday, May 31, 2002

Messenger Intern

"Pomp and Circumstance" filled Sartain Hall on Troy State University’s campus as the 2002 graduates of Charles Henderson High School celebrated the completion of their secondary education.

Proud parents and friends gazed on the smiling faces of the 115 seniors while the waited to receive their diploma.

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Dr. Linda Felton, the principal of Charles Henderson High School, welcomed the audience on behalf of the Troy City Board of Education, Hank Jones, the superintendent, Willie Thomas, the assistant superintendent, the faculty, and staff of Charles Henderson.

Dr. Felton showed great gratitude to the parents of all the graduates for lending their children to the Troy City School System for the 12 years the system has had to guide the students toward academic excellence.

The seniors were charged by Shanari Fayson, the president of the senior class, to head toward excellence and never limit themselves.

"To my classmates, I wish you all the happiness in the world," said Fayson.

"I hope that you have success in all of your endeavors."

Phillip Henderson, the salutatorian for the class of 2002, spoke to his class and offered words of wisdom for the years to come.

Henderson said that he had never known the importance of the friends that he had made in high school until the funeral of his grandfather.

He mentioned that some of his classmates that come to his support had never met his grandfather but showed their respects anyway during the time of his need.

The salutatorian finished his speech by honoring William Smith, his grandfather.

According to Henderson, his grandfather once said, "reach for the stars" and that is what he challenged his classmates to do as well.

The valedictorian, Rachel Jennings, made many charges to her classmates as she spoke of how many people today search for things that will satisfy them for the present time but in the end will leave them.

She spoke to her classmates about search for the things that will provide lasting happiness and never being content with what the world has to offer at the present time.

Jennings said that the world always has room for improvement and the important thing is not how much change was actually made, but the attempt to make any changes at all.

Jennings challenged her classmates to find out why they are on the earth and how their existence will make a difference to the earth.

She wished them luck in the future and told the audience to embark on the moments, which will define their character and purpose in life.

Dr. Felton, prior to handing out the diplomas that the students had waited so many years to receive, remembered the 30 years ago when she sat in the place they were and waited to received her diploma from Charles Henderson High School.

She encouraged all of the seniors to "give a voice to your dreams" and find out what it is that they want out of their life and how to achieve that dream.

Dr. Felton, Mr. Bobby Lee, and Mr. Henry W. Jones handed out the diplomas to the graduates and offered their congratulations as each senior’s name was called out for the entire audience to hear.

At the end of the night, the graduating seniors of Charles Henderson High School left the building with a lot more than a piece of paper declaring that their time of servitude in the Troy School System was finished. With 12 years of knowledge in their head, love for those they have met during those years in their heart, and enough advice to last a lifetime, the 2002 graduates embark of an endless journey towards a future that is sure to be bright.