It was an emotional farewell for the graduating class of Boyd Christian School on Thursday at Central Church of Christ.
Tears of joy ran from the eyes of friends and family as Sarah Argo, Cain Buckner, Caden Davis, Sydney Durham, Eric Nguyen, Jace Oliver, Annais Shrum, Adeline Travis, Robert Yates and Samantha Zahn were ushered in with the graduation walking march “Pomp and Circumstance” playing.
Just moments before, the 10 were concealed in a waiting room and the atmosphere was filled with the hustle and bustle of last-minute preparations and jitters.
“I feel like I’m going to throw up,” said Zahn. “Geez, I’m so nervous. I don’t think I can do this. I can’t do this.”
The valedictorian gained her composure after taking the stage to address the packed auditorium.
“Today, our graduation day, is a day that I have looked forward to for as long as I can remember,” said Zahn. “I remember like it was yesterday when I was in first grade and hearing the words Class of 2021 and thinking about how that was such a long time away, but we have finally made it. I don’t think I ever will want this night to end.”
She quoted a line from her favorite show.
“Before we get started, I would like to begin with this quote,” said Zahn. “I’m sure all of you know how much I love ‘Criminal Minds’ so that is where this comes from. Emily Prentiss once said, ‘I’ve always heard every ending is a new beginning, we just don’t know it at the time.’ I would like to believe that’s true. I believe that sums up how we are all feeling tonight, especially me since I am one that does not enjoy change at all.”
A moment to reminisce was followed by a farewell.
“To my fellow classmates: wow guys, we finally did it,” said Zahn. “Throughout our senior year we accomplished many things. I still don’t know how we talked everyone into letting us get a hamster, but we did. Over the past six years, you have been my second family. Not going to lie, we have had our fights and problems over those years, but what family doesn’t? We persisted. We would all get mad at each other over the dumbest thing, but when it came down to business we would get over ourselves and come right back together.”
Nguyen, the salutatorian, also expressed appreciation to his parents, Boyd school, its teachers, and classmates in his farewell speech.
Boyd principal Donna Newby presented scholarships and diplomas.
“This is a big moment,” said Newby. “This is your night, seniors. This is what you have worked for during four years of high school and the years before that. You have come to this moment and it is time for you to celebrate, to rejoice in that you made it. We are very happy for you. We want you to know that our hope for you, our prayer for you, is that we have prepared you well to make the right choices.”
Newby urged students to look to God for guidance, put God first in their lives, and to lean on Him for understanding.
Guest speaker Richard Burks is a former fifth-grader and assistant principal at Boyd. He retired in 2018.
“This class was the last bunch that I taught on a daily basis,” said Burks. “You’ve talked about memories. Eric Nguyen mentioned his allergies. The pictures that I have that I chose not to put out were of him lying on his desk with his nose plugged up so it wouldn’t run all over the desk.”
Nguyen graduated with honors, as did Oliver and Zahn. Zahn and Shrum were members of National Honor Society. Zahn and Oliver were Tennessee Scholars. Zahn, Nguyen and Travis received a Dual Enrollment Award.