CHHS seniors challenged to focus on high goals

Published 10:33 pm Thursday, May 28, 2009

Hold your heads high and your goals higher that’s what more than 145 Charles Henderson High School graduates were charged by class Valedictorian Brittany Daniels.

Daniels challenged her fellow classmates to follow their dreams and not to let peer pressure stand in the way.

“Put whatever it is on hold and refocus,” Daniels said.

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Fellow classmate and Salutatorian Amelia Berry encouraged her classmates to obtain a mission and a focus and follow through.

“Put your heart into it, and do it well,” Berry said.

Senior class president Meaghan Ellis encouraged the graduates to know themselves, be creative, be sensitive and know the importance of family.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith expressed her support for the graduating class, reminding they did not make it to this milestone without help from their families.

She encouraged them make wise decisions and that the diploma would not give them everything they need.

“But whatever you do, I challenge you to do it with a passion,” Felton-Smith said. “I hope you will have respect for yourself first, so you can respect others.”

This graduation marked the 50th commencement exercises for Charles Henderson High School, Principal David Helms said. “It is with great pride that I salute you. You have obtained the most coveted goal – a high school diploma,” Helms said.

“Each one is special in your own way,” Helms said.

While there is no doubt many graduates who have had the opportunity to be classmates for years, graduation marks the first time six Charles Henderson high school graduates will go their separate ways when college classes convene in the fall. The six, Tracie Pennington, Tyeshia Varnes, Charla Shipman, LaDonna Baines, Karen Glenn and Erica Henderson will embark on a new journey as they end the first chapter of their lives.

However, each is excited about the next phase in their lives.

“We are very excited to be graduating, but shocked that we are getting old,” Varnes said.

The others chimed in and agreed with her statements.

“We’re looking forward to the future,” Baines said.

While the crew may be leaving each other, their fields of study all involve helping others.

Pennington and Shipman will both attend the University of Alabama and study social work, while Varnes will leave CHHS behind for Tuskegee University to study nursing.

Glenn and Baines will attend Troy University one studying health and rehabilitation and the other possibly pre-medicine.

Henderson will study physical therapy at Alabama State University.

Click here for pictures from the ceremonies.