The 8th grade class at DeKalb West said its final good-bye on May 21 when 40 students picked up their certificate of completion.
DeKalb County Trustee Sean Driver, the keynote speaker and father of 8th grader Garrett Driver, encouraged the graduating class to conquer adversity. A double amputee who has undergone five different operations, credited his faith in God with helping him to make it through the tough times. He and his wife, school nurse Christie Driver, who has faced cancer the last year, also rely on each other for strength.
"She suffers, I suffer," Driver told the students. "We attack this adversity with faith in God, and He is in control. In His word, he says he will never leave me."
Nicknamed Smiley in high school, Driver urged the students to turn to Success, Ministry, Intelligence, Loyalty, and Encouragement to overcome the troubles that will come their way.
"Do what is best for you and others, you can say no, have faith God will bring you through, family and friends are so important."
Homeroom teachers Cynthia Preston and Karen Pelham France handed out awards to students who excelled in the classroom this year.
Callie Mulloy dominated in France’s class as she picked up top honors for highest average in English Language Arts (ELA) with 97%, History (97%), Math (98%), and Science (98%). Ashley Reynolds tied with Mulloy in Math with a 98% finish.
In Preston’s class, Cheyenne Maxwell performed best in ELA with a 97% average. Josh Martin was tops in History with a 98% finish. Lydia Brown and Addison Oakley tied in Math with 97%. Oakley also tied with Martin in Science with a 98% average.
Peers elected a boy and girl from each classroom for the Citizenship award. In Preston's homeroom, students chose Dillon Sullivan and Cheyenne Maxwell, and in France’s homeroom, Phillip Coats and Ashley Reynolds received the special honor. A.J. Gaskill was selected for the annual Mrs. Georgia Young Award, named in memory of the DWS Cafeteria Manager who never allowed a child to go hungry.
Graduating from DeKalb West for the 2014-2015 school year were John Arthur Biggerstaff, Natasha Bosenbark, Lydia Ann Brown, Noah Byrge, Shelby Elizabeth Clayborn, Phillip Nathaniel Coats, Zachary M. Cothern, Cedric Anthony Cruz, Jr., Kendall Cryer, Garrett Driver, Dakota Lee Fathera, Angelo Gaskill, Justin James Gohs, Tesa Campbell Hall, Samantha Haugh, Peyton Lemons, Keaton Tyler Lowery, Joshua Martin, Zoe Hannah Evelyn Maynard, Cheyenne Lee Maxwell, Callie Elizabeth Mulloy, Jeremy Rae Nabors, Joyce Neubacher, Addison Grace Oakley, Abbey Nicholle Parchman, Grayson Micheal Redmon, Ashley Nicole Reynolds, Justin William Reynolds, Emily Danielle Roehner, Ashton Cole Sensing, Harley LeighAnn Sloan, Sarah Michelle Starnes, Dillon Sullivan, Caleb Taylor, Austin Wayne Tittle, Diego Morales Vazquez, Destiny Vincent, Kayleigh West, Austin Winningham, and Alanna Renee Woodham.