DONE: Zion Chapel seniors graduate

Published 3:00 am Thursday, May 25, 2017

Red mortarboards were flying Tuesday night, much like a flock of red birds.

But, just as a flock of cardinals is a temporary aggregation, so it will be with the 55 graduates of Zion Chapel High School in Jack.

The classmates have been a tightly knit group, some of them for 13 years. But graduation means they will go their separate ways perhaps to only come together again during those milestone reunion years.

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Troy Green is headed to Wallace College, Trae Sullivant to the Navy, Leah Ash to the University of Alabama, Michaela Stansberry to Berry College and Angel Flowers to the mission field.  Fifty-five graduates and nearly that many different directions.

And, if Vohn Enloe, Zion Chapel principal, is right, they will all be successful in whatever careers they choose and contributing citizens of their communities.

“This is a great group of young people,” Enloe said. “They have worked hard and have the tools they need to be successful in this ever-changing world. Every class has its own personality and this class is a fun-loving group but they know when it’s time to get down to business. They have learned a lot and accomplished a lot. They are graduates now and their futures await them.”

The Coffee County Farm Center in New Brockton was packed with family members and friends who were there to congratulate the Zion Chapel High School Class of 2017 and wish them all the best in years to come. 

Salutatorian Michaela Stansberry reminded her classmates that they do not and will not live in a perfect world.

“There are times when we’ll get knocked down but we must not stay down,” she said. “We must stand up and walk again.”

Stansberry challenged her classmates to chose their goals and work toward them but not at the expense of the things in life that are the most important – relationships and making lasting memories.

“This is not a perfect world and we must give it our all,” she said.

Valedictorian Hannah Whitman said it would have been best if she and her classmates had known that they were living ‘the good ol’ days’ before it was time to leave them.

“We have all made some mistakes and we need to move forward with strength and courage. We must be strong, truthful and honest and have faith in God,” she said, adding that her hopes are that, as classmates, they will cling to the memories of each other as they go their separate ways. “And always hold our diplomas from Zion Chapel High School as sacred trusts.”

At the Zion Chapel High School Class of 2017 sang their Alma Mater for the first time as graduates, there were more than a few misty eyes. But the tears gave way to smiles as the mortarboard were tossed with a “look out world, here with come” attitude.