By Chris Kieffer/NEMS Daily Journal
NETTLETON – Nettleton High School valedictorian Channing Lansdell told his fellow graduates to change the way they think about success.
“I hope they realize that success isn’t being the boss of a Fortune 500 company or being president of the United States,” said Lansdell, who was among 77 students to graduate from the school on Thursday. “Success is pure satisfaction with your life every day.”
The school held its graduation under clear blue skies at Jack Carlisle Field. The band played “Pomp and Circumstance” as the students processed up the 50-yard line two-by-two. After the ceremony, those students threw caps in the air and hugged near midfield.
Salutatorian Jade Sullivan urged her classmates to pour themselves into everything they do in the years to come.
“When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say I used everything you gave me,” she said.
Among those graduating were Bradley Hodges, 19, and his nephew, Dexter Hodges, 18.
“I’m rejoicing,” Bradley said. “I’m so happy.”
Nettleton School Superintendent Russell Taylor and Principal Jerry Pitts each said the Class of 2011 has achieved much.
“We are really proud of our graduates’ 12 years of accomplishments,” Taylor said. “This group has done a lot of outstanding things at Nettleton, academically and in extracurricular activities. We’re very proud of them, and we look for them to do a lot of great things.”
Graduates Glenda Self, 18, and Kelsey Tackett, 17, said they would really miss their Nettleton teachers, including English teacher Amy Alexander and history teacher Jeffrey Cherry.
Both spoke fondly of Cherry, who had a mild stroke on Wednesday but is recovering well.
“He always told us, ‘You are near the end of easy,’” Self said. “The real world is fixing to hit us hard.”
Sullivan, the salutatorian, said she is ready for that real world.
“It is exciting to graduate from high school and start something new,” she said. “I’m ready for college life and a new adventure.”
Contact Chris Kieffer at (662) 678-1590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.