SCHS graduates 123 in class of 2016

Members of the Shelby County High School class of 2016 take in what could be their last time together as a class at a graduation ceremony May 26 in Montevallo. (For the Reporter/Kevin McKee)

Members of the Shelby County High School class of 2016 take in what could be their last time together as a class at a graduation ceremony May 26 in Montevallo. (For the Reporter/Kevin McKee)

By EMILY SPARACINO / Staff Writer

MONTEVALLO – For the 123 students comprising Shelby County High School’s graduating class of 2016, May 26 represented the completion of one chapter and the start of a new chapter in their young lives.

Students were surrounded by family and friends as they received their diplomas along with recognition for their scholastic achievements in a 7 p.m. ceremony at the University of Montevallo McChesney Student Activity Center.

“Sitting in this room are the people who have shaped your lives,” valedictorian Landon Bentley said to his classmates. “Choose what makes you happy. Choose who makes you happy.”

The SCHS class of 2016 earned roughly $1.15 million in scholarships. Forty students, including Bentley and salutatorian Marjorie Head, earned advanced diplomas.

Senior sponsor Anne Stansell presented the Johnson-Pope Award to two students, Bentley and Daniel Creekmore.

The award, given each year in honor of two former educators, is the highest honor that can be bestowed upon a graduating senior from SCHS based on leadership and academics, Stansell said, adding this year’s recipients are “two very deserving young people.”

The SCHS Choir, led by choral director Ashlyn Kuyrkendall, sang “Alleluia.”

Miss SCHS 2015-2016 Karah Goodwin gave the welcome, and Creekmore, a senior class officer, shared an inspirational thought.

The ceremony closed with students and alumni singing the SCHS alma mater.