Members of the Class of 2006 said their goodbyes to DeKalb County High School on the occasion of their graduation Friday night.
Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to Elise Cantrell and Daniel Alexander and while the Citizenship Award was presented to Ben Malone
The White Rose is presented to a boy and girl from the class for outstanding achievement and leadership, academics, and other activities. The Citizenship Award is given to the senior who has demonstrated outstanding service, devotion and loyalty to DeKalb County High School.
A total of 147 students received diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Jim McCormick as their names were called by Principal Kathy Hendrix.
In remarks to the Class, Valedictorian Elise Cantrell admonished her fellow classmates to make good decisions and embrace the changes that will affect their lives. \"Success is something we all want a part of, but it is defined differently for each of us. No matter how big or small someone's goals might be, they are never too far from reach. You and you alone have to make success happen. Each of us must be willing to put forth every effort we have into each task we perform. Make the right decisions, because the decisions you make now will affect you in the future. Most, importantly, make decisions for you. You can spend your whole life trying to please other people and you will never feel a sense of satisfaction. Life is too short to be unhappy so live it now and don't take a single second for granted. The good Lord has put each of us in this world for a purpose and it is our responsibility to find that purpose.\"
\"Tonight, there is a journey coming to an end, but we will soon venture off onto an entirely different journey. No one knows exactly where that journey will lead. We are starting a whole new life, and it is up to us to make the most of the life we choose. It has come our time to step out into the real world of change. We must not hold resentment against change, but instead we should embrace the new opportunities that come along with change. We will leave here tonight, not with sadness in our eyes, but with a new vision on life. Every moment we have shared will be cherished and we will take what we have learned at DCHS and move into the next chapter of our lives. I would like to leave you with one of my favorite quotes from a wise philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, ?When you're finished changing, you're finished\".
Salutatorian Kheela Nicole Blair urged the class to overcome life's obstacles and make the journey of life fulfilling. \" Upon entering into each of our new lives, we will encounter many obstacles along our long road to success. Like our pasts, our futures will be filled with not only a great amount of joy, but also with many tears and struggles. As we have grown up, we have acquired much knowledge from our elders about how to make mature and responsible decisions to help us deal with whatever challenges may come our way. Through our own personal experiences, we each know that with hard work and determination, we are always capable of pulling through. For without these two characteristics, none of us would be sitting here tonight.\"
\"Nonetheless, there are the occasional obstacles that we can never prepare for. It is in these instances that we must remember to maintain confidence in ourselves and uphold our trust in the Lord. Philippians 4:13 says ? I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me'. Have faith and you will go far. Congratulations to the class of 2006. May you be successful in all you do.\"
Class President Kris Robinson encouraged the seniors to \"follow the road that leads you to where you need to go\". All three of our school colors are represented on this road. It is Black, White, and Gold. Not only can we relate our experiences to our school colors, but we can also interpret its colors as a symbol of its guidance in relation to the roads we travel. Just as the road has the white and gold boundaries and the black asphalt, which provides for smooth travel, DeKalb County High School has provided us with the limits to keep us in-line while preparing us for a smooth path to success\".
Principal Kathy Hendrix, in her remarks to the class, admonished the graduates to \"let your high school years become the foundation upon which you make a difference in this world.\"
\"This road we call life is filled with challenges large and small. However, the rewards for meeting those challenges are great. Therefore, I ask you not to be afraid to struggle, do not be afraid to give your best. Hopefully at the end of your life you, like Saint Paul, can say that you have fought a good fight, have finished the race, and have been true to yourself. If so, then you will be able to look back on tonight as more than just one special night in your life, but rather an event truly marking a beginning. Congratulations to all the 2005-2006 graduates and their families. God bless each and everyone of you.\"