Helena High School celebrates second graduating class

Helena High School Valedictorian Jordan Ingram addresses the class of 2016 in the BJCC Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 24 at Helena High School’s commencement exercises. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

Helena High School Valedictorian Jordan Ingram addresses the class of 2016 in the BJCC Concert Hall on Tuesday, May 24 at Helena High School’s commencement exercises. (Reporter Photo/Graham Brooks)

By GRAHAM BROOKS / Staff Writer

BIRMINGHAM–Helena High School Principal April Brand had some simple advice for the Helena High School class of 2016 using lyrics from a popular Tim McGraw song “Humble And Kind.”

As the more than 240 graduates sat in the BJCC Concert Hall waiting to receive their diplomas, Brand reminded the students to remember the importance of treating others, be humble, practice kindness and love others as they enter a new phase of life.

“I’d like to borrow a few lines from a song that many of you may have heard,” said Brand. “The song provides us with some reminders on how to approach life and with permission I tweeted Tim to ask and he said ‘OK’ and I would like to share some of the lyrics. When your dreams you’re dreaming come to you, when the work you’ve put in is realized, let yourself feel the pride but always stay humble and kind. Don’t expect a free ride from no one, don’t hold a grudge or a chip and here’s why. Bitterness keeps you from flying, always stay humble and kind.”

The class of 2016 may not have been the first graduating class from Helena High School, but they still made history for a school that’s only in its second year.

The seniors helped capture the schools first state championships, began the inaugural powder puff game and collectively received more than $4.1 million in scholarships.

At the ceremony, Senior Class President Bradon Hulsey welcomed all to the ceremony, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Senior Class Vice President Steven Williams. A special song was performed by Preston Burks followed by the Salutatorian’s and Valedictorian’s address by Sara Beth Dolinger and Jordan Ingram.

Ingram used her time addressing the class of 2016 by quoting the former First Lady of the United States Eleanor Roosevelt.

“I’m not going to stand up here and offer my advice because there are people older and much smarter than me who can offer much better advice,” said Ingram. “I will offer my classmates advice from Eleanor Roosevelt. ‘The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.’”

Dolinger took time to reflect on what the senior class has accomplished in two years at Helena.

“As the second graduating class at Helena High School, we have been a part in many of the firsts,” said Dolinger. “Last year, on our first day of school everyone in the school was new but we accepted that challenge and ran with it and look where we are now. We attend a gorgeous school, we are sending our teams to state, winning state titles, winning team sportsmanship awards and bringing our athletics to new heights each year. We are maintaining high grades while still participating in extra curricular activities, we have a National Merit finalist among us, we’re making a difference around our community, but most of all we’re making a good name for our town, our school, our families and ourselves.”