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Bobcat Seniors bid farewell

The Dooly County Bobcats said goodbye Friday night to the 2017 graduating class. The national anthem was performed by Alshun G. White followed by the pledge of allegiance led by Santos G. Mendoza. The Principal of Dooly County High, Darrick McCray, welcomed everyone to the commencement exercises.

Following the welcome, Maya K. James gave the invocation. Dr. Barbara P. Bryant, School Counselor, spoke to the capacity crowd about the over 800 thousand dollars in scholarship money awarded to the graduating seniors of Dooly County High.

After a brief speech by Senior Class president Shelby Jones, the class Salutatorian, Andre A. Robinson, Jr., gave his commencement address.  Robinson told his classmates of the three things that are “key to life”. First is to put God first, “for through God all things are possible.” The second key is to be disciplined. The third is consistency. Robinson stated you must always strive to achieve your goals.

In closing, Robinson said, “So I close tonight leaving these words to my class. Just remember this, there is no set way to live this concept called “life”. Open the gift of life, and enjoy it.  This gift is what you make of it. Just like those gifts that we received as children from our parents, be excited about this new gift – life. You are now the giver and receiver of your own gift. The world doesn’t owe us anything. We must go out and set ourselves up for success. THANK YOU!”

Class Valedictorian, Niana E. Haddock, spoke to her classmates and reminded them of all the things they have learned this year and over the last four years. She spoke about positive influences, “broadening your depth of knowledge” and always being open minded.

“Today is the turning point of our lives. We have spent these last four years walking the halls of Dooly County High School anticipating graduation, wondering where life will lead us and what we will decide to do with our future. This last year has been a time full of laughter, love, tears, obstacles, but most importantly learning; it is now time for us to consciously make decisions that are for the betterment of our lives.

Today marks the end of one chapter of this book called life and begins another. As these few months have passed, we have learned to not let external circumstances define us. As we come to the closing of this chapter, we should be stronger mentally and emotionally. I have met some of the strongest people during my high school years. Not only have I learned from my teachers, but I have also learned from my classmates. I have learned life lessons, and they have shown me and steered me to a path that was better for me.

The diploma that will be received today represents achievement and success in our lives. This represents all obstacles that were overcome by never letting anything stand in our way. We have made it our responsibility to keep pushing and to handle our business.

As we veer off into our next adventure, we must remember to always allow God to set our paths and to follow His word to receive every blessing that He will send our way. We must never forget the lessons we were taught as young children and those that we received along the way. Keep those lessons you learned from different experiences (good or bad) and mistakes and make sound decisions to not make them again. Always have an open mind and be willing to broaden your depth of knowledge. Be able to except constructive criticism and allow it to make you better. It is important to remember that you should always be yourself. Never try to force someone to fit in or make them like you. It is okay to be called strange or weird. You should always surround yourself with those who will lead you down the right path. Those who don’t motivate you to do better – don’t love you.  As graduation comes to an end, it is important to never forget where you came from. “

In closing Haddock thanked everyone and reminded her classmates to follow their dreams.   After this Jaylin E. Davidson introduced the guest speaker, State Rep. Patty Bentley of District 139.

Following her address was the presentation of diplomas. In conclusion, LTC. Robert Koester led in the Alma Mater recital.