WCHS Class of 2024 makes plans for future

Classmates are challenged to pursue their goals with passion


 On May 13, the White County High School Class of 2024 walked across the stage, on Dee Harris Field, to receive their diplomas and officially become the 116th class to join the ranks of Warrior alumni.

Before principal Greg Wilson presented the class to director of schools Kurt Dronebarger, salutatorian Alivia Jones addressed her classmates. She told them that choosing is a sign of individuality and maturity - that they are now faced with choices - the choice to work hard, and that option will give them room to both do well and to help others. She told her fellow graduates they are no longer going to be forced to do things, but that now it is their choice whether they go to that audition, attend that interview, or get their hands dirty. She reminded them fear is also an option but warned that choosing to live in the memories of high school would mean they never truly leave.

“Let us mature in our identities and determine where we go from here,” Jones challenged the Class of 2024.

Valedictorian Hannah Austin also had some final words to share with her classmates. She challenged them to stop comparing themselves to each other, to strangers, to anyone. She told them to think about what they had accomplished, to pause for an hour or two, and be proud. She challenged her classmates as well as the audience to start celebrating everyone for how they are and what they have done without comparing them to anyone or anything else.

“We have our whole lives ahead of us,” she told her classmates in closing while encouraging them to be proud of every accomplishment, even the small ones. “Choose your path Class of 2024. And be proud of it.”

Principal Greg Wilson presented the Warrior Award to senior Noah Cole, saying each year the award goes to the student who contributes to the school, community, and is an example of truth, loyalty, honor, and empathy for future Warriors.

Wilson then spoke to the graduating body, telling them they have completed the equivalent of 2,334 days of school, and, during that time, they have faced many hills, mountains, and valleys. The WCHS principal told them when faced with more obstacles in their future, they need to just keep going.

“Recognize the value in you,” he told them. “Let nothing stop you from greatness. Always keep moving forward and strive to meet those mountain tops.”

Kurt Dronebarger, White County director of schools, accepted the class from Wilson, but, before awarding the diplomas, he had a few things to tell them. Dronebarger likened the game of life to that of soccer, telling the graduates that there are three options but never four.

He told them the first option is to always strive to advance toward the goal, knowing what they want and pressing forward. He warned there is no reason to rush, rather encouraged them to think, be strategic, and move toward their goal. The second option he presented them with was to not be afraid to use a different path toward their goal when needed. He told them moving around obstacles while keeping the goal in front of them is acceptable. He also told them sometimes life attacks hard and fast, and that is when option three becomes necessary.

“It’s okay to step back and find support,” he said, telling them to look around the stadium and realize they were surrounded by people who love and support them. “Tonight, we encourage you to seize life and attack your goals but remember that you have teammates who will support you and be there when you need them.”


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