ACHIEVED: Pike County High School seniors earn diplomas

Published 3:02 am Saturday, May 27, 2017

As the sun set on Bulldog Stadium Friday night, there was a new day dawning for the Pike County High School Class of 2017. An anxious and nervous silence came over the graduates as they waited for the “Pomp and Circumstance” of the moment.

Some of graduates took a deep breath, others shuffled their feet, and others looked for their family members in the packed stands.

“It’s time” one senior said as the last faculty member exited the gate.

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“Here we go,” said another.


Principal Willie Wright welcomed the graduates and their families and friends to the Commencement of the PCHS Class of 2017.

“You have achieved much,” Wright told the graduates. “We congratulate you as you move forward.

The graduates listened intently to addresses of their salutatorian and valedictorian as they look back over the years and expressed appreciation to the teachers who have guided and prepared them to move forward with confidence and assurance and their parents and family members who have supported them, encouraged them and loved them through it all.

Salutatorian Cameron Vance reminded the graduates, many of whom have been classmates for 13 years, that there have been ups and down all along the way.

“There have been good times and not so good times,” Vance said. “But we are like family here. We stand together. Our teachers have pushed us. They have inspired us to search for knowledge.

“Someone once said that you can achieve wealth, material things and fame but all of that can be lost. But our education is something that no one can ever take away from us.”
In thanking his parents and his family, Vance was in essence thanking all parents who love and support their children on their journeys from elementary school, through high school and on through life.

“There will be obstacles in our lives but don’t let obstacles define who you are,” he said. “Success is out there. We’ve just got to find it. Use the tools we have. Reach for the stars until we grasp them.”

Valedictorian Joe Sellers said the journey for the PCHS Class of 2017 has been one of persistence. Keeping at a task at hand is to accomplish a goal, he said.

“We have taken different paths,” he said. “Some paths lead to destruction; others to success. But each path has challenges and temptations.”

Sellers said that resisting temptations is not always easy and sometimes, very difficult.

He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson in saying “We gain the strength of the temptations we resist.”

“The harder it is to resist temptation, the greater the rewards,” Sellers said. “In my want for freedom, I sometimes did not resist temptation but I know right from wrong. Our morality is often tested. But Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quotation helps me keep my head on straight, knowing that resisting temptation will bring great rewards.”

Seller closed by wishing his classmates the world.

“Be great and leave a legacy,” he said. “And resist.”

In preparing the Class of 2017 to receive their diplomas and take their places in the world, Wright challenged the graduates to be strong and let truth, honesty and justice govern their lives.