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Afterthoughts - Graduation reflections

High school graduation is a time to rejoice, celebrate and possibly take a sigh of relief that you finally made it through high school. Whatever emotions you experience, this is a special time for students to revel in the fact they finished 13 years or more of education.

Most students will say they are so ready to get out of high school and take the next step in life, maybe continuing the education process, or going directly in the work force. I would encourage getting all the education you possibly can, and now with the Tennessee Promise, there is no excuse for students not to try to broaden their horizons in a variety of fields.

Recently the county has celebrated high school graduations from F.C. Boyd Christian, Covenant Academy and Warren County High School. Boyd honored 16 seniors, Covenant had 5 graduates, but Warren County presented 405 diplomas at the graduation ceremony. 

Let me share my 1969 graduation experience at Irving College High School. Yes, I’m old, but I like to think living life has made me a little wiser. In 1969 there were high schools at Morrison, Dibrell, Centertown, Irving College, City and Central, all with varying class sizes. Of course City and Central had higher numbers than the outlying county schools.

High school life at Irving College was a good time for me, and I would say most of my 37 classmates. Yes, we only had a graduating class of 37, so we were close to each other, many attending just the one school all their lives. When I see the numbers at today’s high school, I almost cringe, because I wonder what these students are missing. Yes, they have more educational opportunities in an abundance of class options, with some earning college credits while in high school, but I can’t stop wondering if it’s beneficial to all? How many get lost in the shuffle of students?
We had the sense of security with our teachers, usually having small classes, receiving lots of one-on-one instruction. Many of these teachers and coaches made life-long impressions on me. Vivian Dodson, Samuel Boyd, J.K. Stanley and Bobbie Sharpe are at the top of my list, followed by many others.

Yes, we were a close group of kids, going to ball games and hanging out on the weekends together. At this school, I met my future husband in the fifth grade, not that he was interested in me at that time. I like to say he changed his mind in the seventh grade when I returned to the school after living in Florida for a while. From then on we were off and on, breaking up and getting back together all through high school. We graduated together in May 1969 and married June 1, making this our 49th anniversary in two special moments in our lives.

Yes, times and students have changed, and I understand this as well as anyone. My hope for all the graduates is they make the best of their lives, work hard, and take advantage of all the opportunities provided to them.