Bittersweet Farewell: Lafayette High bids goodbye to Class of 2022

Published 12:27 pm Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Lafayette High School has said farewell to the Class of 2022.

Lafayette High’s Commencement Service to commemorate its high school graduates was held on Thursday, May 19 at the Sandy and John Black Pavilion at Ole Miss.

Families, friends and faculty gathered in the arena— decorated in Lafayette red and yellow— to witness 177 Lafayette High School seniors walk the stage and receive their diplomas.

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After a bit of pomp and circumstance, Superintendent Jay Foster gave a short address to the audience. Although it is Foster’s first year in Lafayette County and as superintendent, he recognized the years of learning and effort it took for the students to make it this far.

“As I said in my welcoming, graduation is a source of pride for all of us,” Foster said. “We look at it as a culmination of years, of kids that worked hard for 12-13 years to get to walk across the stage. So it was a celebration of those students and their families.”

The ceremony included a presentation of students from kindergarten through 11th grade, illustrating each step the seniors had to take in pursuit of their education.

“Yes, this is a high school graduation and it’s a “high school” thing but as a district we want to celebrate that it’s our teachers all along the way,” said Foster. “It’s our coaches all along the way. It’s our bus drivers, it’s our cafeteria staff, it’s custodial staff, counselors and parents. It’s what has pushed those kids and molded them to make them who they are.”

Following a performance of the class song, I Will Remember You medley arranged by Roger Emerson, Salutatorian Hudson Lindsey and Valedictorian Anna Lafferty took to the podium to give their speech to their peers.

Lindsey graduated with a 4.365 grade point average and plans to attend Northwest Community College for soccer and possibly The University of Mississippi for engineering for her last two years. Lafferty currently maintains a 4.589 GPA and plans to attend Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Once speeches and addresses were concluded, LCHS principal Glenn Kitchens presented diplomas to 177 graduates with the help of faculty members Tammy Quarles, Corey Burt and Tamekia Helm.

After walking off the stage, many students may have their next steps planned out. Many students plan to attend institutions like the University of Mississippi, Northwest Community College and Mississippi State University, said Foster told The Eagle. 

He also reported that the Class of 2022 received over $2.1 million in scholarships, but that number will increase as students receive their acceptances and letters.

The commencement ceremony was a celebration of the seniors’ achievements and over a decade of hard work, but it also symbolizes a closing chapter on a significant time in their lives.

“That’s the last time that class will be together,” Foster said. “They spent a lot of time on the band fields, the playing fields, at musicals and plays and in the classrooms together. It’s kind of a bittersweet moment but I’m very proud of all the graduates.”