These AHS female graduates are taking the practical step of saving their feet for when they walk to accept their diplomas. Mone' Watson, Natalie Aljoe and Cierra Deville are excited as they arrive at Springfield Baptist Church for graduation ceremonies.
At A Glance: Alcovy High School Graduation
Location: Springfield Baptist Church
When: 3 p.m. Saturday, May 25
Valedictorian: Briana Clark
Salutatorian: Jansen Lindner
Senior Class President: Brandie Weathersby
Student Body President: Briana Clark
Class Song: “You Raise Me Up”
Number of Graduates: 375 (including 62 honor graduates)
Special Performers: Alcovy High School Chorus, Alcovy Band
CONYERS -- The nearly 400 graduates from Alcovy High School are ready to enter the world -- whether they are hoping to become a lawyer, an engineer, a member of the military or the next president, like Valedictorian Briana Clark.
Senior Class President Brandie Weathersby said that some of her fellow students felt that their time at Alcovy was some of the best days of their lives, while others were ready to leave since day one.
"We will always have the memories. Remember what it is to be a Tiger," she said. "May the odds be forever in your favor."
Salutatorian Jansen Lindner told fellow graduates that some of them need to alter their thinking.
"You have always been told to dream and reach for the stars. Unfortunately, the world does not care what your dreams are," he said. "If you want something done, you must first begin by doing. ... If you dream and really work for that dream, then really anything is possible. Your actions will take you to your dreams."
Clark advised her classmates to tell those who said they don't believe them to say, "Don't believe me -- just watch." She said that her classmates are unstoppable.
"We have Tiger blood running through us," Clark said, referring to the school's mascot. "We are forever linked by our stripes. ... We are a family; we are a pack; we are Tigers."
The class received more than $2.1 million in scholarship offers from 37 colleges and universities in 15 states for academics, athletics, merit and the military. Students also received 125 acceptance letters from 48 colleges in 16 states so far.
"Graduation is the beginning of a whole new life," said school Principal Victor Lee. "Each of you has a lifetime of achievement ahead of you."
He said some are heading off to college, while others will go into the work force or join the military, and later they will achieve many greater accomplishments like obtaining their first jobs and having a family.
"Dream your dreams, set your goals and make them come true," Lee said. "You are willing and more than able."
Lee presented awards to Jonathan Mann and Diamond Tyshone Price-Kay for achieving perfect attendance from kindergarten through 12th grade, as well as the Atlanta Journal Constitution Cup award to Sergio Cruz, who was nominated by the school's faculty and administration based on his academics, community service and extracurricular activities.
"What matters for eternity is that you be someone special, not just do something special. To try to change the world for the better, you have to be great people, not just great at what you do, but great in who you are," said Newton County School System Superintendent Gary Mathews, who was presiding over his last graduation ceremony upon his retirement at the end of June. "Then, and only then, can you be those individuals who change a neighborhood, a city, a state and a nation for the better."