On Saturday, June 01st, 2019 Principal Brian Harris presented the JCHS graduating Class of 2019 granting high school diplomas to 146 seniors. In a very poignant gesture Mr. Harris, teachers, family, friends and fellow classmates recognized a moment of silence for a classmate that should have been there with them. A gift for the family of Peyton Andrew Rader was placed in the chair that he would have sat in and he was missed by friends and family.
Mr. Harris was proud to tell those in attendance that the graduating class of 146 students had 124 members who met Transition Readiness Standards set forth by the KY Dept. of Education. “This group has many future leaders that have the potential to impact lives,” Harris said. He listed the groups accomplishments: “This group has more dual credit college hours than any other group in JCHS history, collectively earning 681 College hours. JCHS is one of the Top 10 High Schools in the State for Transition Readiness. The Band received Distinguished Ranking at KMEA Festival with Zack Fields chosen for All State Concert Band. The Boys Cross Country team were Regional Runners-Up advancing once again to the State Cross Country Meet. The JROTC has competed in Raider & Rifle Cpmeptitions across the state and nation with great success. The JCHS Academic team won the Quick recall District Championship.” “No matter what path you choose as you walk out those doors today embrace life. Live, laugh, and love those who are close to you,” Mr. Harris said. The Class of 2019 was also very unique in another way. For the first time in school history there were THREE Valedictorians: Paige Lynette Peters, Makayla Allysse Rowland, and Abigail Brianne Smith. All three received “A’s” in 10 dual credit or AP courses and received “A’s” in all of their course work at the JCHS. As a consequence, they shared the top spot for Valedictorian.
Co-Valedictorian Abigail Smith spoke to her classmates and encouraged them to pause and appreciate “Life”. She broke the word down into meaningful components. The “L” stood for “Leadership”. A graduating classmate sitting beside you “may become the person who writes your prescriptions, fills your prescriptions, teaches your children, coaches your children, feeds your family at the DQ, fixes your car, builds your house, argues your case in court, prays with you in tmes of tragedy, rejoices with you in times of joy... Be a Leader! The letter “I” stands for Influence. “F” stands for “faith and family”. “E” stands for “Example” and “To whom much is given, much is expected.”
Co-Valedictorian Makayla Rowland spoke and told her classmates, “the most important lessons that were given to me were outside the classroom. I have found that my happiness truly comes from giving back to others and knowing that I have made a difference in their lives. Find what you are unquestionably passionate about and pursue it. I would like to challenge everyone to live their life fearlessly and help others. Travel and take in the beauty this world has to offer. Donate your time to charity and raise money to help the less fortunate. Get educated and always keep a goal to keep moving forward. Be kind to others in this hateful world. You are all capable of incredible things and I cannot wait to see what each and every one of you accomplish in life.”
Co-Valedictorian Paige Peters told the audience, “Knowledge is power. Knowledge in power lines. Knowledge in school children. Knowledge in business plans. Knowledge in construction. Knowledge in law. Everyone in this room possesses a piece of knowledge that sets them ahead of someone else. Therefore, I encourage you to read, to listen.” Peters then relayed a story about her time at the Governor’s Scholars Program and a game called “Cross the Line”. The teacher would put forth political and moral questions and then depending upon your position you would cross the line in the middle of the room. This left Peters feeling very conflicted because her positions often differed from those of her cohort. “They were challenging us to think clearly without the beliefs of those before us in our minds. However, at the time, I felt that I couldn’t defend myself because I had unresearched claims behind my opinions that my peers didn’t respect. An important person to me always says, “know what you believe and know why you believe it.” Sometimes the phrase, “I was raised that way,” won’t suffice. If I can leave you with something today, I ask you to question everything that you believe. I ask you to ask yourself why you believe it. I ask you to read from four different sources and listen to eight different news stations. I ask you to question people who don’t agree with you. I ask you not to become complacent in your beliefs becuase you are surrounded by people who think a certain way. I ask you, why aren’t we researching our foundational beliefs? Know what you believe and why you believe it because the entire world needs ideas and plans that are built from facts and designed with introspective minds. Please construct your beliefs by yourself, not dependent upon any person, and founded with immense research.”
The graduates with the top ten GPA’s were: 1) Paige Lynette Peters, 1) Makayla Rowland, 1) Abigail Smith, 4) Cherokee Renee Ray Hammonds, 5) Cari Nicole Powell, 6) Jamie Leann Moore, 7) Jesse Marie Brumback, 8) Cori Powell, 9) Calewb Tanner Huff, and 10) Benjamin Isaac Lambert. Larry Noah David Tillery delivered the Invocation. Jonna Lynn Clemmons sang “Time of Your Life” and Sierra Faith Judd sang “The Climb”. Summer Lexie Marcum delivered the Benediction. The Junior Escorts were Cameron Parrett and Matthew Thomas.