Shelby County High School honors graduating class of 2023

Published 10:20 am Thursday, May 25, 2023

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By LIZZIE BOWEN | Staff Writer

SHELBY COUNTY – It was all smiles as Shelby County High School held its annual graduation ceremony for the class of 2023 at the McChesney Student Activity Center.

An opening prayer was held by Rev. Jonathan Smith, pastor of Columbiana Church of the Nazarene.

“Heavenly Father, I thank you for each and every one of these seniors sitting here tonight,” Smith said. “You know each of them right now down to the number of hairs on their head. You created and formed each one of them for a purpose in this crazy thing we call life. I pray for protection over them. I pray for your guidance as they go to college or enter the work force. I pray that each and everyone one of them will fully submit their lives into Your hands.”

Student Government Association Executive President Maya Garrett took the podium to address the audience.

“Good evening, students, family, friends, faculty and staff,” Garrett said. “It is my pleasure to formally welcome you to the class of 2023 graduation ceremony. We are delighted to have all of you here with us. It is truly an honor to be surrounded by so many people who have impacted our lives immensely throughout our high school years. To our teachers and administrators, we would like to thank you for our dedication of teaching us. We want you to know you are truly appreciated, and we will always remember the care and grace you gave us.”

Garrett congratulated the class of 2023 for their accomplishments in her closing remarks.

“We came, we saw, we conquered,” Garrett said. “Once a wildcat, always a wildcat.”

Senior sponsor Anne Stansell presented the Johnson-Pope award to 2023 Valedictorian Denisen Justice and was met with a round of applause.

“It is my pleasure to present the Johnson-Pope award,” Stansell. “The Johnson-Pope award is the highest honor bestowed upon a graduating senior of Shelby County High School. The recipient of this award has earned the respect of students as well as faculty, leadership and academics.”

Justice then took to the podium to address his class and offer some words of wisdom and advice upon their soon-to-be departure.

“I would like to begin by thanking everyone for their attendance tonight,” Justice said. “Your love and support means so much to us as we end this chapter of our lives and prepare to embark on the next. We came to high school, saw it for what it was and we conquered our high school experience by giving our best to our school and our community.”