It's graduation week in Warren County! More specifically, it's graduation day for Warren County High School. It's an exciting time for high school seniors and their parents. While we at the Southern Standard are also excited, it's somewhat a time of stress here at the newspaper.
Every graduation day, we put out a special graduation section, which you'll find in today's paper. In it, we publish, to the best of our knowledge and ability, a complete list and pictures of every WCHS, Boyd, Covenant Academy, Warren Connect and Van Buren County graduate. That ends up meaning we're dealing with approximately 500 photos and names, which provides lots of opportunities to mess up, although we certainly do our best not to. It's a very time-consuming effort and a stressful time for the person dealing with all of that information and trying to make sure it all gets in the section correctly. For most, if not all of my 26 years here, that responsibility has fallen to me.
This year, I'm quite glad to say Nikki Childers has taken over the huge responsibility. Upon my promotion to the position of managing editor and being told I should delegate some of my previous duties, the first move I made was to hand off grad tab building responsibilities to Nikki. I'll use this space to thank Nikki for stepping up and handling this huge task. As much of a chore it is to put together, it's something we plan to always continue because it is a great keepsake of a very special time in the life of Warren and Van Buren county high school students. I still have mine from 1992.
Another annual Southern Standard graduation tradition that I'm happy to keep going is the yearly graduation cartoon I draw. At the top of this page you'll find my 24th annual grad cartoon. I find it a bit jarring that I've been drawing a graduation cartoon for far more years than this year's graduating class has been alive. As far as I know, I've not quite made it to the point where I've drawn a child of someone I previously portrayed in a cartoon but I figure that day is coming as I intend to continue the tradition as long as I'm at the Standard.
Each year, I pick out a few WCHS graduates to feature in a cartoon meant to represent and salute the entire graduating class and include an issue or something relevant to that year. I do my best to draw children of friends, relatives, requests from friends or sometimes just seniors I think would be fun to draw.
The day the cartoon is published I find it amusing hearing from readers trying to guess who I've drawn. Many times I'm pleasantly surprised to see how many people know exactly who I intended the person to be. More than once, I've taken calls from people guessing incorrectly but, upon looking the person up, I realize I accidentally drew a more accurate picture of the person they've guessed than of the person I intended. In those cases, I just say, "yep, you got it!"
Congratulations, class of 2023! Your hometown newspaper is proud of you all.
Standard Managing Editor Seth Wright can be reached at (931) 473-2191