Graduating seniors said their farewells to DCHS as students during Friday night's commencement.
Three of the most outstanding members of the class were singled out for special recognition. This year's White Rose Awards went to Kalab Ferrell and Kelsey Evins while the Citizenship Award was presented to Crystal Vickers
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. The honors, distinction, and top rank students were also recognized during the program.
The 158 graduates received their diplomas during the commencement, each one shaking hands with Director of Schools Mark Willoughby as their names were called by Principal Patrick Cripps and Assistant Principal Kathy Bryant.
In her remarks, Valedictorian Kelsey Evins urged her classmates to pursue their passions and propel their dreams. " Pursuing your passion, whatever that is, is the one thing that makes you forget the world. That's what will propel your dreams into the sky. I like to think of these high-altitude efforts, this work, pursuing your passion, putting dreams in the sky, as being like hot air balloons. preparing for that flight....I feel like that's what we've been doing for the past twelve years. We've been trained by some of the most loving and passionate teacher's you'll meet. Our families and friends have supported us, and we've been gathering all the tools, preparing ourselves mentally for this moment. And pretty soon, we'll take off. As we leave tonight, I hope you'll remember where it is you put your passion and don't forget your source of hope and encouragement. And don't let your dreams float away without you. Hop in the basket. Life's pretty good when you let it happen," said Evins.
Jordan Wilkins, Class President, reflected on the dedication of this class to succeeding as a team. "With anything a person does in life, it takes dedication to complete. Obviously, graduating is a goal we set. Tonight, we are achieving this goal. There is only one word to describe this process. It is teamwork. With teamwork and good friendships, we bonded together, encouraged each other, and sometimes scolded one another to make this night possible. I am filled with a great sense of happiness for all of the things we have accomplished while in high school. Sometimes the challenges along the way were difficult. They are, however, what make this night even more precious. Even though we are prepared and excited to be on a new journey whether it be to college, work, or to the military, we hope that we have left the school a better place with higher standards and achievement for people who are coming after us. Together we have achieved a legacy of excellence and dedication. Remember our past, enjoy the present, and work to make your dreams come true in the future," said Wilkins.
Dr Hugh Don Cripps, a 1964 DCHS graduate and President of his Senior Class fifty years ago, was the commencement speaker for Friday's night's program. He challenged the 2014 graduates to "Dare to pursue the career about which you are passionate. Survey all the possibilities open to you but invest your time and energy in the most likely probabilities. Dare to go the extra mile. Dare to show compassion, love, and selflessness for others because as Eleanor Roosevelt said aloofness is not a solution. It's just a cowardly evasion. Dare to make your mark in the world. Dare to have empathy. Dare to be the best you can be. Finally, always be kind in life. On the importance of kindness Mark Twain stated kindness is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see. Is this an oversimplified view of life? Probably. Is it within your reach? Most definitely. My fondest best wishes go with you one and all," he said.
The program featured an Invocation by Josh Davidson of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Music by the DCHS Band and Chorus. DCHS Guidance Counselor Lori Myrick introduced the honors and distinction students. Guidance Counselor Shelly Painter recognized the Top Rank students in the class. The Benediction was delivered by Ashley Barnes, member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.