By Riley Manning/NEMS Daily Journal
TUPELO – As the ceremony approached, students of Saltillo High School’s class of 2013 buzzed about the lobby of the BancorpSouth Arena, snapping pictures with friends and family.
They said they learned a lot in their time at Saltillo High, and were more than eager to share some advice for younger students.
“Don’t slack off,” said senior Alex Williams as he stood with friends Nick Rheume and Drew Pannell. “That’s what I did and I almost didn’t make it.”
“Take it seriously, even the early years,” he said.
The 182-member class was addressed by Valedictorian Jenny Kate Smith and Salutatorian Claire Cash.
Smith imparted three simple goals for her classmates in the next chapter of their lives.
“Be happy, because even a smidgen of happiness will multiply with others’ positive responses. Be kind, without expecting a reward or recognition,” she said. “And finally, give your best. Each day we have a choice on how to face what’s coming, and if you give your absolute best you will never regret it.”
Cash said she was proud to call the class of 2013 her own because she had seen how far they had come from the “nervous, wide-eyed freshmen” of four years ago.
“We’ve learned plenty about life and ourselves, the type of people we want to be,” she said. “Take your mistakes and your successes and learn from them to become stronger, better people. Never miss an opportunity to tell your friends and family how much they mean to you.”
Seniors Kelli Thompson and Andee Wilson said a family is exactly what the class of 2013 had become.
“I’m really proud how we can put our differences aside and stick together,” Thompson said.
VALEDICTORIAN: Jenny Kate Smith
SALUTATORIAN: Anna Claire Cash
For complete list of graduates read today’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.