TCPS graduates largest class; 31 receive their diplomas

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The graduates of Tupelo Christian Preparatory School received some smart advice from the school’s elementary students at graduation on Sunday.
TCPS Headmaster Brian Benscoter prepared a video full of messages in their own words from the “little people,” as the “big people,” or high school students, call them.
“Do not be silly or daydream in class,” “Never stay up past 9:30 p.m.,” “Bring your umbrella” and “Don’t forget to pray” were a few words of wisdom.
The video was the start of a new tradition, Benscoter said, as the school graduated its largest class in its 25 years with 31 seniors.
The ceremony held at Hope Church included the ribbon-cutting tradition, in which every senior is given a TCPS ribbon to take with them.
All graduates are continuing their education, with more than $750,000 in scholarships between them all.
Valedictorian Dason Maloney challenged his classmates to change the world.
“We must carpe diem – we must seize this day and make the most of what God has given us,” he said.
Salutatorian Zachary Bridges encouraged the class to “find your motivation,” he said, because “God has great things planned for all of us.”
The happiest to be at graduation was the class chaplain, James Stephenson.
The basketball player and member of the cross country team was in a serious car accident last week, and he had several staples in his head and leg.
“I’m grateful to be here,” he said.
Stephenson will be a pre-med student at Lipscomb University this fall.
“I wanna be the guy that cures cancer,” he said.
“And he’ll do it,” Benscoter added.
sheena.barnett@journalinc.com

CLASS OF 2013 FACTS
VALEDICTORIAN: Dason Maloney
SALUTATORIAN: Zachary Bridges
GRADUATES: 31

Complete list of graduates in today’s NEMS Daily Journal newspaper.