By Bobby Pepper/NEMS Daily Journal
BALDWYN – Valedictorian Chelsea Griffin encouraged her fellow Baldwyn High School graduates Friday night to “never give up” on their dreams and goals in life.
Griffin was one of 63 seniors to receive diplomas in commencement exercises before an overflow crowd in Baldwyn High’s gymnasium.
The ceremony included the remembrance of a deceased student who would’ve graduated with the Class of 2011.
In her valedictory address, Griffin referred to Baldwyn’s athletic teams as examples of how to handle success and adversity. She told her classmates they will face similar challenges in life.
“You see, as a team or as a single individual, we each have the choice and ability to achieve excellence and make a difference by showing others compassion, care and empathy,” she said.
Devin Agnew, who shared salutatorian honors with Jared Daher, read the poem “Count Your Blessings” before thanking all who contributed to the seniors’ education.
“There’s no question that my own cup has overflowed, and I am always going to be grateful for all the experiences Baldwyn High has taught me during the years,” Agnew said. “Jared and I, on behalf of the entire senior class, would like to say thank you.”
Midway through the ceremony, the seniors remembered classmate Bryan Allen Chandler, who died in an automobile accident Aug. 2, 2010.
A chair with a cap, gown, sash and diploma case sat at a corner of the gym floor in tribute to Chandler. William Robert and Sheila Chandler were presented a memorial honoring their son.
“This is very special,” William Robert Chandler said. “We appreciate everything the faculty and students have done.”
The graduation was the last for Harvey Brooks, who is retiring after eight years as Baldwyn’s superintendent and 40 years altogether as an educator. He had special words for his final graduating class.
“This is an exceptional group,” Brooks said. “It really is. Super sharp.”
Contact Bobby Pepper at (662) 678-1592 or firstname.lastname@example.org.