Trials, tribulations and, ultimately, success.
Those themes were at the center of Saturday’s graduation ceremony honoring the Pulaski County High School Class of 2014.
“Don’t believe anybody who says the class of 2014 doesn’t contain the strongest group of young adults in your faith, academics, athleticism, and commitment to what you believe in,” said Class President Jaysie Sexton. “We’ve maintained a consistent diligence in the toughest of circumstances and came out on top ... and we grew stronger in character and work ethic, but we never lost sight of who we were and what we were capable of.”
The seniors of the Class of 2014 leave the halls of a school that finished the 2012-2013 testing year in the top 3 percent of the state’s high schools. The school ranked 17th out of the state’s public high schools.
Out of the 222 graduating seniors, 35 received Advanced Placement diplomas — obtained by completing a pre-college curriculum and attending Advanced Placement classed in science, social studies, math, and English.
25 students graduated with Grade Point Averages of 4.0 and above. 35 kept GPAs of 3.5 to 3.9.
The seniors, as a whole, were offered more than $3,083,966 in scholarship funds.
And the ceremony included a poignant remembrance of beloved PCHS athletic director Randy Elmore, who passed away in August after a lengthy battle with cancer. The students bestowed Murphy with bright yellow beads — the color used for bracelets and shirts manufactured to help raise awareness and funds for Elmore during his battle with cancer — as a sign of remembrance for Elmore.
Sexton said that, while 2014’s senior class may appear similar to those who came before, their unique talents help them stand out.
“We enter this gymnasium today knowing we are following in the footstep of many classes before us,” said Sexton. “We’re all wearing the same robes, the same hats and tassels, and each of us will receive the same piece of paper. We’re sitting in the same chairs, and will all walk across the same stage.