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Crisp Academy holds commencement

By JOE JOE WRIGHT
joejoe.wright@cordeledispatch.com

CORDELE — On Thursday night 15 Crisp Academy Seniors crossed the stage and moved a step forward in life. The commencement exercises were conducted at First Baptist Church of Cordele. Chanley Copeland offered an invocation and Grace Atherton made the official welcome. Salutatorian of the graduating class,

Joe Joe Wright/Cordele Dispatch Brooke Bichaus Valedictorian

Joe Joe Wright/Cordele Dispatch
Brooke Bichaus
Valedictorian

Maggie Atherton spoke to the congregation about her early days as a cheerleader. She spoke of how she became dismayed at learning how to cheer and how her teammates took her under their wing and made her feel like part of a team.
“I believe that our class has not just been cheerleaders, role models and supporters for each other but for the entire school and as I see the people we have become, I predict that we will be cheerleaders in our communities, she said.”
Class valedictorian Brooke Bickhaus then gave her address to the assembly. A synopsis of her speech would be the “ journey.” She compared their trip so far to the Canterbury Tales. In the group traveling to Canterbury were people from many walks of life and, like them the Class of 2016 is filled with many different paths students will be taking.
“While we are not heading toward Canterbury, we are heading toward colleges and occupations around the state,” said Bickhaus. “While I am excited for each of our own journeys to take us to where God wants us to be, I am still sad to say goodbye.”
Following Miss Bickhaus was Mary Margaret McGarr who introduced the night’s commencement speaker, Crisp County Sheriff Billy Hancock. He addressed the group with a very on the edge of your seat speech on attitude and choices. The Sheriff used the word “volition” which means the power to choose. He explained to the graduates as well as the entire congregation  “that up till now

Joe Joe Wright/Cordele Dispatch Maggie Atherton Salutatorian

Joe Joe Wright/Cordele Dispatch
Maggie Atherton
Salutatorian

many of your major decisions have been made for you and you had little input, as you leave Crisp Academy you will begin a new chapter in your lives in which you will begin to assume more and more responsibility for your life course.”
Hancock went on to tell the seniors about attitude and the importance of being a positive person.
“You have to decide to be honest or dishonest, to love or to hate to build up or tear down, the choices he emphasized are yours,” he said.
Dr. Kip Stevens came up after the Sheriffs address and presented the candidates to Board Chairman Rob Greene and they presented diplomas to the graduates of the class of 2016. Graduate Lindsey Youngblood gave a benediction to close the ceremony and the class was dismissed for the last time. They adjourned to the outside where graduates joined together and tossed their caps in celebration of their accomplishment.