SCHS celebrates 103rd graduating class

MONTEVALLO –Almost 150 Shelby County High School Seniors received their diplomas at a graduation ceremony on Thursday, May 25 at the University of Montevallo McChesney Student Activity Center. According to Principal Barbara Snyder, this is SCHS’s 103rd graduating class.

Commencement began with a performance of “I Believe,” which was sung by the SCHS Choir and directed by director Ashlyn Kuyrkendall.

SCHS SGA Executive President and class salutatorian Faryn Fryer gave welcoming remarks before Wilsonville Baptist Church Associate Pastor and Youth Minister Jeff Vick led students, faculty and their loved ones in an invocation.

“We are celebrating all that we have accomplished and done, and all that we will do,” Fryer said

SGA Executive Vice President and former Miss SCHS Andrea Bryant quoted actor Bradley Whitford while she shared some inspiration with her classmates: Take action. Every story you’ve ever connected with, every leader you’ve ever admired, every puny little thing that you’ve ever accomplished is the result of taking action. You have a choice. You can either be a passive victim of circumstance or you can be the active hero of your own life.”

Senior Sponsor Anne Stansell presented the Johnson-Pope Award to Fryer.

“The Johnson-Pope Award is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior of Shelby County High School. This award is given in honor of two former teachers. These women were dedicated to the ideals of leadership and academics,” Stansell said. “The recipient has earned the respect of fellow students, as well as the respect of faculty.”

Valedictorian Samantha Slaughter shared a timeline of what she and her classmates learned as they went through elementary, middle and high school during her address.

“Each of us has our own collections of memories influenced by the students who are sitting here tonight, your family, your community and your teachers,” Slaughter said. “As we mature, we learn simple lessons about life that can prepare us for the more complex situations we face as we go forward.”

Slaughter advised her fellow graduates to make the most of each experience.

“Throughout high school, we learned many valuable lessons from our teachers that will guide us as we transition to the next stage of life,” Slaughter said.

Slaughter challenged graduates to be brave and keep a positive attitude throughout life and acknowledged individual students for their individual traits.

“I heard someone say, ‘Ships are safest in the harbor, but that is not where ships are meant to be.’ We are ready to leave the harbor and make our mark on the world around us,” Slaughter said. “Never forget that we will forever be members of the Wildcat family.”