By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
NETTLETON – The stands of Nettleton High School’s football field were overflowing Friday night, but even those who watched on their feet beamed with pride as the class of 2013 officially became high school graduates.
As the crowd funneled in, seniors Swantizia Low, Shunequa Lowe, and Martinique Miller could not believe they finally made it. All three will begin their college education in the fall, a feat they credit to their favorite instructors, chemistry teacher Stephany Watson and English teacher Amy Alexander.
“Mrs. Alexander was laid back but still knew how to motivate us,” Swantizia said.
“They helped a lot,” Miller said. “They made learning fun.”
In his address to the crowd, Salutatorian Dillon Pittman recited a poem entitled “The Bridge Builder,” by Will Dromgoole. The poem tells of an old man, building a bridge across a vast chasm so future travelers would have a way to cross.
“We’ve all had hard points in our lives and parents, teachers, and mentors to help us through it,” Pittman said. “Thank those who built bridges for you, and in the future, be a bridge builder yourself. Remember, what came easy for you may not come easy for others.”
The most important bridge of all, he said, was the bridge of Nettleton High, providing them passage to the rest of their lives.
Soon to have that bridge behind them, Valedictorian Megan Walls looked forward to the future.
“It’s up to us to make the most of our lives now,” she said. “The rewards and consequences will fall on our shoulders.”
And yet, she said, the best choices in life are not always the safest. She encouraged her classmates to step out of their comfort zone with courage and pride.
“Take chances, make mistakes, and get messy,” she said. “Nettleton has become part of us. Have fun, and never forget where you came from.”
Top of the Class
VALEDICTORIAN: Megan Walls
SALUTATORIAN: Michael Dillon Pittman
More photos and complete list of graduates in today’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.