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Jemison High celebrates Class of 2017

By STEVEN CALHOUN/Staff Writer

Jemison High School celebrated the Class of 2017 on May 23.

The 142 seniors tossed their caps in the packed Jefferson State Conference Center to the applause of their friends and families.

During the commencement, the students were encouraged by guest speaker Dr. Anthony Nix, Jr., a Jemison High alumnus who graduated medical school with highest honors and now practices medicine at Coosa Valley Medical Center.

“To you, with all the time that you have, there is no obligation or obstacle that you can’t conquer, there is no barrier that you can’t break and there is no mountain that you cannot climb or move,” Nix said. “Beyond today lies the future, and only you can determine the outcome of your success and even those of your failures.”

Nix warned students about the dangers of procrastination.

“Success is never loaned. The rent for success is due every day,” Nix said.

The many valedictorians and salutatorian addressed the audience with encouragements and expressions of gratitude.

“We have very unique opportunities that the past generations have presented to us,” valedictorian Devlin Patton said. “We can stand as a generation and … fight for a peaceful coexistence without wars … the elimination of discrimination and hate … and, most importantly, a future that enables us all to find happiness and content.”

“Parents, teachers and administrators, I speak for all of us and say thank you for all the hard work you have done to prepare us for the next steps of our lives. God bless our teachers, God bless you all and God bless the Class of 2017,” salutatorian Wes McGehee said.

Senior class president Mary Stokes boasted that the graduating class earned more than $1.2 million in scholarships.

“Our potential is limitless and our future is brilliant,” Stokes said.

The Class of 2017 announced that it purchased a bricked mailbox for the school and raised $600 as a parting gift to its alma mater.