Alcovy's 2008 seniors second class to graduate

COVINGTON - The second graduating class at Alcovy High School filed in to the school's gymnasium - some dancing, some waving their hands and others screaming with excitement - even as friends and family members continued to take their seats and fill in around the railings.

"Throughout the past four years, we have worked diligently to arrive here today," said the class of 2008 Valedictorian Joseph Guthrie. "We have experienced rigorous testing, endured tedious lectures and pushed through crowded hallways to reach this point: graduation, a ceremony that serves as a milestone in so many people's lives."

He encouraged his fellow graduates - who created a mentoring program for freshmen and gave a bronze tiger statue to the school - to make a contribution to society as they continue through life.

"To promote the general welfare was one of the many noble goals established by the Founding Fathers. We have an obligation to do our part to help further this goal," he said. "So many ways to contribute exist, and we can all find some area in which we can lend aid. ... We can all do our part to improve the world around us and leave it a better place than we found it."

Some students are heading to colleges and universities - places like Emory University, Auburn University and the University of Georgia - thanks to the HOPE scholarship and other scholarships totaling more than $1.5 million in scholarships. Others are heading to the United States Military Academy or jumping right in to start their careers. Wherever they go next, Guthrie said everyone can contribute by lending a helping hand, simply offering a smile, devoting time to community service or giving money to charity.

"My sincere hope for each of you is that when you do look in that mirror, you will find yourself happy, healthy and satisfied, and that perhaps you have found someone with whom you can share that happiness," he said. "Regardless of what happens, I wish you all the best in life."

Michelle Floyd can be reached at michelle.floyd@