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Lafayette High School celebrates Class of 2018

Lafayette High School continued its tradition of being “anchored to excellence” at its graduation ceremony on Friday, May 18.

The ceremony began with the presentation of colors by the LHS Air Force JROTC and students holding flags which represented every year of school, from kindergarten through 11th grade. Following behind were the guests of honor, the graduates themselves.

After brief opening remarks from Devin Satterwhite, Tyler Allen led the Pledge of Allegiance.  Leslie Traylor presented a welcome message to those attending the ceremony at the C.M. “Tad” Smith Coliseum and spoke of the hardships and obstacles she and her classmates overcame to make it to their graduation.

Lafayette County School District Superintendent Dr. Adam Pugh addressed the graduating class, reflecting on how far the students had come since they began their education.

“As we take time to honor our students and their accomplishments, we want to acknowledge that this day started 13 years ago in August of 2006, when they entered the kindergarten classroom,” Pugh said. “Throughout the years, many teachers and administrators have impacted the lives of these students.”

The graduates have earned over $1.3 million in scholarships to various universities, Pugh said.

Following the superintendent’s address, LHS Assistant Principal Tamekia Helm recognized the students who graduated with distinction, honors or special honors.

Assistant Principal Grant Crockett presented the school’s most prestigious award, the Commodore Award. The Commodore Award is given each year to a student who embodies the true spirit of a Lafayette Commodore, Crockett said.

“The Commodore Award is voted on by teachers for a student who exhibits the following characteristics: good citizenship in school and the community, positive attitude, exceptional behavior in the classroom and in school and thoughtfulness towards others,” Crockett said.

This year, the Commodore Award was presented to Konner Skelton.

Senior members of the LHS choir program took the stage to perform the song “You Will be Found,” arranged by choir director Hannah Gadd. Performers were Bailey Aldridge, Creed Brown, Grace Hogue, Amy Kwas, Cora Lawrence, Kyle Rikard, Katelyn Traylor and Leslie Traylor. Each singer had a featured solo throughout the song.

During her speech, salutatorian Cora Lawrence gave thanks to the faculty and staff members who guided the 173 graduates throughout their time in Lafayette County Schools.

“Without the help of the faculty and staff of the Lafayette County School District, we would not be sitting in these seats tonight, with a cap and gown, eager to accept a diploma,” Lawrence said. “Throughout my time at Lafayette, my teachers continued to raise me up when I felt down. They were always there to give me an encouraging word, hug or smile.”

Lawrence also expressed her gratitude for LHS Principal Glenn Kitchens, whom she said greets each student personally each morning and is one of the “most supportive administrators” in the district.

Valedictorian Foster Roush, who is also a commended student for the National Merit Scholar program, spoke of his classmates’ futures, and the various milestones and obstacles they will face as they grow. Roush quoted both Lady Gaga and Eleanor Roosevelt in his address.

“Without everyone in this building, I don’t think any of us would be in the positions we’ve found ourselves in today,” Roush said. “The future can be anything you want it to be. Life outside of high school may be a challenge, but it is also our chance to achieve these goals and take on the world in a completely different way.”