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Pike County sends graduates off

Pike County High School graduates sing the Alma Mater during the graduation ceremony on Friday. (Photo/Jake Blocker)

In a stadium-lit arena, Pike County High School students took to Bulldog Field, their very own field of dreams, and anxiously waited to receive their diplomas—evidence that 12 years of perseverance pays off.

Alonzo Maurice Griffin, valedictorian of Pike County High School’s graduating class, delivered an exceptional speech, even though the sound system was riddled with problems throughout the ceremony.

Griffin charged his peers to keep an “I can” and “I will try” mentality when faced with life’s obstacles.

“Responsibility has always been and will continue to be a large part of our lives,” Griffin said. “Be brave enough to step out of your comfort zone.”

At the core of both Brittany Nicole Rodgers’ salutatorian speech and the speech delivered by Griffin, was for students of their graduating class to have faith in themselves and believe they can achieve anything.

The ceremony ended and the celebrating began with cheers of excitement and tears in the eyes of many students after realizing the meaning of their new accomplishment.

“It’s an honor and I’m so happy,” Dereika Shannon said, an excited graduate.

For Deloris Scott and Jasmine Cullins, two new PCHS graduates, the ceremony was surreal.

“It’s unbelievable,” Cullins said.

Sylvia Helms, a teacher at Pike County High School, said she was proud of her students.

“I’m very proud of them and it’s always sad to see them go,” Helms said. “These students are very sweet kids, I’ve had some of them in my classrooms and I’m going to hate to see them leave.”

Parents were sharing in the happiness of the moment and cheering their children on as they received their diplomas.

“I’m very proud and am glad my daughter made it,” Celeste Ousley said, mother of senior graduate Jonica Strong.

Like many other graduates throughout the Pike County area, the PCHS senior graduating class of 2011 is eager to start an exciting new chapter in their lives.