By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – Before she could graduate from Mooreville High School on Saturday, Chloe Elrod had to complete a final assignment for her senior English class.
The task was to compile a scrapbook that looked at her life, from the time she was born to her future plans.
Given her looming graduation, it was an appropriate time for nostalgia.
“It was difficult, but it was fun,” said Elrod, who wants to pursue a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. “It made me think that after you cross the stage, you have to grow up. You can’t joke anymore. The plans you make now are the plans for the rest of your your life.”
Mooreville graduated 101 students at the BancorpSouth Arena. The students filed in one-by-one and did the same as they filed out – greeted by much applause with diplomas in hand. After making a lap around the building, they returned to main floor to toss their caps and celebrate the achievement.
“This has been a very successful group, athletically, musically, artistically and academically,” said Mooreville High School Principal Craig Cherry. “We are proud of this group that has done an exceptional job in everything. They have really represented Mooreville and Lee County Schools.”
For many of these students, it was a day of reflection.
“So much has changed since we started kindergarten, from the economy to the way we have all grown up and changed a lot,” valedictorian Adrianna West said.
Part of that change, said Mary Lea Williams, was a realization of how much Mooreville has meant to them.
“You were so scared going into kindergarten,” she said. “You were crying and upset because you didn’t want to leave. Now you are crying and upset because you want to stay.”
Added Chasity Young, who stood next to Williams at the back of the alphabetical list of graduates: “I will remember all the time that the school has put in to make us have a better high school career. It is a big family, and it doesn’t get any better.”
West recognized her father, who told her in sixth grade that she could become valedictorian if she worked hard and gave it her best. She also urged her classmates to believe they could accomplish great things.
“Your time is now,” she said. “Don’t let it slip away.”
Salutatorian William Adamec gave his fellow graduates three pieces of advice: Be individuals and do what makes them happy, choose their friends wisely and do not limit themselves.
“Life is like a coin,” he said. “You can spend it however you choose, but you can only spend it once.
“Remember to live your life to the fullest and spend your coin wisely.”
Meanwhile, graduate Brandon Chaney reflected on what he had accomplished.
“Now that we are done with our school years, we are at the highest point of life,” he said. “It is the most important thing in life to graduate from school.”