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EHS seniors celebrate graduation success

COVINGTON - Eastside High School's senior class of 2009 gathered for one final time as a group Saturday morning for graduation ceremonies at Church In The Now.

Jowanna Malone welcomed the class of 296 and invited the salutatorian Ariel VanLeuven and valedictorian Leaha Wynn to the stage to present their honor speeches.

"Just as these past four years have been difficult and tedious at times, fun and spirited at others, and even still hectic and action-packed at others, it is proven today that those times of hard work and dedication have paid off and have resulted in this success - graduation," said Wynn as she gave her speech to her fellow classmates and guests at the graduation ceremony.

VanLeuven encouraged her classmates to have fun during this most exciting time of their lives but not to forget that hard work is still necessary.

The class song "I Hope You Dance" by Lindsay MacLagan was performed by Tia Sellers, accompanied by Mark D. Sellers on the guitar.

The guests of the graduation ceremony were so enthusiastic that Assistant Principal Bruce McColumn admonished them a few times to keep quiet until all graduates' names had been called.

Newton County Superintendent of Schools Steven Whatley then declared all the students of the 2009 graduating class to be alumni of Eastside High School.

To date, graduating seniors at Eastside have been offered more than $8 million in scholarships to such post-secondary institutions as Furman University, Yale University, Harvard University and Oxford College of Emory.

- Taylor Queen

SideBar: At A Glance

Eastside High School Graduation

· Location: Church In The Now

· Number of Graduates: 296

· Valedictorian: Leaha Wynn

· Salutatorian: Ariel VanLeuven

· Class Song: "I Hope You Dance" by Lindsay MacLagan