Spain Park High School graduates 366

More than 360 seniors graduated from Spain Park High School during a ceremony at the Pete Hanna Center at Samford University May 21. (Reporter Photo/Cassandra Mickens)

More than 360 seniors graduated from Spain Park High School during a ceremony at the Pete Hanna Center at Samford University May 21. (Reporter Photo/Cassandra Mickens)

By CASSANDRA MICKENS/Associate Editor

BIRMINGHAM — One by one, the Spain Park High School Class of 2014 walked across the stage to receive their diplomas amid camera flashes at the Pete Hanna Center at Samford University May 21.

Almost half of the graduates were awarded scholarships to attend their respective college or university. Spain Park Principal Dr. Kenneth Jarnagin said of the 366 graduates, 140 had a 3.5 grade-point average, 92 had a grade-point average of 3.75 or above and 58 had a grade-point average of 4.0 or above.

Jarnagin also said 65 graduates scored 30 or above on the ACT. Of those 65 graduates, 15 scored 34 or above and two, twins Matt and Stefanie Schoeneman, scored a perfect 36.

“This is a true celebration as well as a time of reflection,” Jarnagin said.

Among those addressing the graduates were class valedictorians Taylor Bass, Madison Shore and Flannery Wynn, and senior class president Lindsey Young.  The young ladies reflected on their four years at Spain Park, and each touched on the life challenges that await them and their peers.

“It is up to you to persevere and realize your goals and dreams,” Bass said. “Make your life the best life you’re capable of living.”

Shore, who said the past year has been the most challenging time in her life, encouraged her fellow graduates to stay passionate and determined throughout their lives.

Wynn, who took a selfie with her smartphone after taking the podium, said the lessons learned at Spain Park will be tested on the road ahead.

“It is now the time to test ourselves,” Wynn said.

Young said she and her classmates have come a long way from the frightened freshmen that walked Spain Park’s halls.

“It is our turn to celebrate, remember the moment and boldly walk out the door to our future,” said Young, who went on to quote children’s author Dr. Seuss to mark the bittersweet occasion.

“Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened,” Young said.

Colleges and universities in 33 states offered admission to this year’s class, and 175 of the 366 graduates were offered scholarships totaling $20.9 million.