Grad­u­ates find pur­pose in big year

The Standard Journal - - ROCKMART CLASS OF 2017 - By Kevin Myrick Edi­tor

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,

Stan­dard Jour­nal

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