End of era for Helms, CHHS ’10

Published 10:55 pm Thursday, May 27, 2010

“I encourage you now to set new goals for yourselves that will propel you to future endeavors.”

That’s what Charles Henderson High School Principal David Helms told the CHHS class of 2010 during Thursday night’s commencement ceremony.

“I have had the distinct pleasure of being your principal for the last seven years,” he said, pointing out that he moved from the middle school to the high school the same year as the students before him.

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Valedictorian Jeb Sharp and Salutatorian Olivia Bensinger would later point out that Helms was now “graduating” with the class again, as he prepares to move to the central office.

Troy City Schools Superintendent Linda Felton-Smith offered some wisdom of her own.

“Remember to do something productive with your lives so that you can be positive contributors to the state of Alabama and to the United States of America because you are capable,” she said.

And many students have plans to do just that.

“I’m attending Troy to pursue a degree in nursing,’ said Keona Collier in her Charles Henderson, Trojan-blue graduation gown.

“I’m going to Troy U, and I’m pursuing a degree in science education so I can be a science teacher,” said fellow recent graduate Ryan Landers.

But both students were still focused on some short-term endeavors as well.

“After graduation my family is going to Mikata (Japanese Steakhouse),’ Landers said.

“My families having a fish-fry for me,” said Collier.

The proud loved ones of the students were without a doubt, more than happy to take out and treat the new grads.

“I’m so proud I can’t express it in words,” said Army National Guard Recruiter Dennis Crowe, who came to see his graduating niece Beth Childs.

“It’s just an exciting time for these grads,” said School Board President Roxie Kitchens.

“And I’ll be crying right along with their parents.”

Kitchens daughter will graduate from CHHS next year.

Administrators encouraged the graduating students getting ready to embark on the next journey of their lives.

Felton-Smith held up a small key as they waited to retrieve their diplomas.

“I want you to know that you have the key in your hand to unlock the door that you choose.”