Graduates find purpose in big year
As the school year came to a close and a new group of graduates received their diplomas, outgoing principal Wesley Cupp said the Class of 2017 has left a big mark.
The class started off the year searching for a way to make their impact on the school and had a senior prank in mind to be remembered by in hopes of becoming legends.
When that didn’t work out, Cupp said during his speech to graduates that they found a different way to make their mark: t hrough accomplishments in academics and athletics.
“Something so special and obvious that I had to address and acknowledge it: you did it,” he said. “You did what no one else expected you to do, you made it.”
Cupp pointed to team and individual accomplishments during Rockmart’s May 26 graduation ceremony t hat all of Rockmart can celebrate. Playoff appearances throughout the year in football, softball, volleyball, boys basketball, tennis and baseball were among the achievements he praises, along with individual efforts of cross country runners, wrestlers and track athletes in competition during 2016-17.
“Someone can’t leave a mark if they do the same t hing everyone else does,” Cupp said. “The only way to leave a mark is to do something that all classes would want to live up to and surpass. Class of 2017, you have certainly made your mark. You did it.”
He also had high praise for the FBLA and other student organizations on campus for participation in community projects, and for students in general for positive end of c ourse and AP t est scores.
Cupp added that he saw something this year in this class that has been lacking, a desire to do better this year than any class in the past.
He wasn’t the only one who had something to say to the seniors during their final moments at Rockmart High School. Senior salutatorian Maci Campbell, one of four students who also earned an Associate’s degree while at Rockmart High, told her fellow classmates that even though their j ourney at Rockmart High was over, it was just the first steps on the road to the rest of their lives.
“I think the hardest part of today is leaving s ome of our closest friends behind,” Campbell said.
Valedictorian Janae Crawford us e d her speech to remind her classmates that many leaders in the past and present have come from small towns, from Oprah Winfrey to Norman Borlag.
“The world wouldn’t be what it is today without these people,” she said. “And some of them come from smaller towns than Rockmart.”
ABOVE: Seniors celebrate following the end of their graduation ceremony for the Class of 2017 on May 26.
LEFT: Courtney Wooten gives the crowd a thumbs up after being recognized for one of the biggest achievements of the year: graduating with perfect attendance throughout her entire school career. She was asked to stand by Principal Wesley Cupp.
BELOW: Kerrion Woolfork is the last to get his diploma Friday night. He gave RHS principal Wesley Cupp a hug after getting his certificate of graduation.
Students celebrate in their own way when they walked back to their seats after getting diplomas during Rockmart’s graduation ceremony.
ABOVE: Students listen in as RHS Principal Wesley Cupp address Saturday night during the graduation ceremony.
RIGHT: Senior class president Blake Holloman leads the class in the turning of the tassels.
Photos by Kevin Myrick,