East and West Jessamine celebrate graduating seniors

Published 12:52 pm Wednesday, May 24, 2023

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By Carrie Hudson and Gillian Stawiszynski

Staff Report

West Jessamine High School’s Class of 2023 is officially graduated.

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The school ushered out a new class of approximately 290 graduates during its commencement program last Friday.

Over 60 of the graduates left with a Work Ethics Seal, a symbol of career readiness. Additionally, 48 students graduated with Summa Cum Laude or higher which is a grade point average (GPA) of 4.0 or more, 37 received Magna Cum Laude, a GPA of 3.76-3.99, and 34 received Cum Laude, a GPA of 3.5-3.75.

Sophia Brannen, delivered the welcoming address. In her message, she sent her gratitude to all of those who supported the Class of 2023 in their education,

“I want to start off by thanking everyone present and everyone who has helped us get to where we are today. These past four years of high school have been anything but easy. And we couldn’t have gotten here without the support of family, friends, teachers and classmates,” she said.

Principal Brady Thorton gave advice for the graduating class. He encouraged the graduates to continue to rely upon teamwork throughout life, as it contributed to their success in high school.

“You didn’t make it alone, because you did it with teamwork. You relied upon your parents, your friends, your support, and you used your relationships you formed with your teachers and others to get you through those tough times,” Thorton said in his speech.

Principal Thornton’s wisdom paved the way into the presentation of diplomas. Seniors Elena Rodrigues and Hayden Miller were chosen to present the Class of 2023 farewell, which closed out the ceremony.

East Jessamine sends Jaguars out into the world

On Saturday, East Jessamine seniors walked across their school’s football field to mark the completion of their K-12 education at the school’s evening graduation ceremony.

Among a sea of loved ones, faculty, and staff, the school board was in attendance, including School Board chair Steven Scrivner and Superintendent Matt Moore. They gave speeches including hopeful words for the young adults before them, readying themselves to enter their next life stage.

“To our graduates, you made it. You’ve worked hard for at least 12 years to get to this point. Take a moment and just let that feeling soak in. Today is about honoring you and your tremendous accomplishments and I want you to enjoy every moment of it,” said Moore.

Senior Brendan Christian also gave a speech to his fellow graduating students.

“For years, I’ve dreamed of standing here right now and giving you this speech, fantasizing about the words I would set forth and try to put some final inspiration in you before we all go our separate ways. But I came to a problem pretty quickly; What do I write this speech about? I could write a speech about how impressive we are. How we faced so much loss and so many challenges through our high school career,”

Principal Chris Hawboldt gave the final speech before the students crossed the stage, ending the ceremony, tearing up as he did so.

“You truly are my kids. I’m proud of you for everything you do. There are frustrating days, not gonna lie about that, but I am proud of everything you do.” Hawboldt said. “Graduation is not goodbye, but rather a testament to your individual achievements and tribute to the collective spirit of the Jaguar family. To the class of 2023, you are a remarkable group of young individuals. Each one of you has a unique story. A story filled with triumphs, failures, laughter, tears, friendship, and countless memories, and today we remember those stories and celebrate the remarkable journey that has brought you to this moment.”