Calera High grads encouraged to take control of their futures

MONTEVALLO – Flashing camera lights were coming from every corner of the gym in the McChesney Student Activities Center at the University of Montevallo as the Calera High School Class of 2017 marched in to the sound of “Pomp and Circumstance,” played by the school’s band.

The Class of 2017’s commencement exercises were held on Tuesday, May 23, at 7 p.m. As the school’s 144 graduating seniors prepared to embark on the next phase of their lives, Calera High Principal Joel Dixon highlighted some of the class’s accomplishments.

Calera’s graduating class received $1.7 million in scholarship offerings, and there are students attending college as far north as New Hampshire and as far west as Kansas, Dixon said.

“We have eight students leaving high school and going directly into the armed services,” Dixon said. “That’s the highest number of any high school in Shelby County this year.”

And each year as senior year comes to a close, Dixon said he is moved by the memories that students share about their time at Calera High School.

As Calera High School valedictorian Alex Dozier addressed his fellow graduates, he encouraged them to take control of their future.

“As we journey into the world, we are now responsible for further shaping our minds and the world,” he said. “We determine what we can do and how far we can go. Soar Eagles, fly high and remember, we fly as one.”

Salutatorian Jaramy Dozier also addressed his classmates and gave credit to the teachers, administrators and family members who have helped them along the way.

“The people that we have met have impacted our lives and have made it possible for us to go forward and impact the world,” he said.

Dr. John Adams, a 2003 Calera High School graduate, delivered the school’s commencement address.

“Congratulations, but don’t get too comfortable just yet – you still have a lot of life left,” he said.

He encouraged the graduates not to fear change because it is inevitable. He told them that greatness doesn’t just happen – it is obtained through hard work and perseverance, and he urged them to always be humble.

“The chapters that are written after today are totally up to you,” Adams said.