September 25, 2021

Heard High School graduates record 154 students

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(Roopville, GA) — A record 154 students received their diplomas at Friday night’s 2016 Heard County High School commencement ceremony held at Roopville Road Baptist Church in Carroll County.

It was notably the first Heard County graduation held outside county lines after a grim weather forecast forced officials to move the event indoors. The graduation was originally planned for the newly remodeled Staples Stadium.

Over 1400 people were in attendance with about 1100 seated inside the church sanctuary and others watching on closed circuit televisions in the lobby areas of the church. There were 38 seniors graduating with honors.

After principal Rodney Kay welcomed those in attendance and the graduates entered the sanctuary, Anna Grace Shelnutt led the Pledge of Allegiance and Joseph Riley Callahan gave the opening remarks. Austin Tyska Barron gave the class reading.

Next came the Salutatory address from Jaime Nicole Conlan and the Valedictory Address from Hannah Elizabeth Rogers.

Class of 2016 President Angel Faith North presented the Class Gift before Rodney Kay addressed the attendees.

Kay recognized the long list of accomplishments of the class an recognized a couple of specific students for individual accomplishments including honor graduate Jessica Lynn Noles who achieved an impressive perfect attendance at Heard County schools during over 14 years of classes. She began at Heard County schools with Pre-K.

Kay also recognized Special Olympics State Weightlifting Champion Anthony Brand.

The principal also recognized five Spanish students for their language skills achievements: Riley Curbow, Hannah Rogers, Jaime Conlan, Brian Hill, and Tyler Camp.

Mr. Kay also mentioned the dynamic academic duo of Conlan and Rogers who were not only Salutatorian and Valedictorian but co-star students as well.

An interesting note from Kay’s speech included scholarship monies awarded to the class in an amount totaling over 2.3 million dollars with most being in the form of academic scholarships.

Longtime Heard County Superintendent Jerry Prince then accepted the seniors and addressed them for the last time as superintendent as he will be retiring at the end of 2016. Kay will accept the seniors in 2017 as the new superintendent.

Vice Principal Chris Edwards announced each of the graduates. Senior Brittany Witcher presented roses in honor of fallen classmate Lilly Scott.

After the 154 students had each received their diplomas, Emily Estoll, Elyssa Monee Garza, Andrew Kyle Loubet, Sydney McCalin Lee, and Taylor Lyn Matthews led the singing of the Alma Mater as the audience stood.

The 2016 Class Officers gave the graduates the ok to “turn the tassels” to close out the ceremony.

In addition to Class President Angel North the other class officers were Vice President Anna Kerrigan Sims, Secretary Madelyn Lauren Rusinyak, and Treasurer Alexis Jordan Raines.

To see more photos courtesy of Rodney East click here.



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