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Words such as ecstatic, happy, proud and excited were tossed around, with quotes from Dr. Seuss, Christopher Robin and Nemo that focused on grasping the future ahead.
On Saturday, Shelby County’s first double graduation day in more than 30 years went off without a hitch.
There may have been two classes graduating, but the excitement came from Simpsonville, Shelbyville, Bagdad, Pleasureville and Waddy, with several of the same faces turning up at both commencements — including both parents and students.
With smaller senior classes, Shelby County High School and Collins High School were able to move the ceremonies back to their campuses, and the gyms at both schools were filled to the rafters. Every ticket was handed out, and an overflow crowd watched on closed-circuit broadcasts in the theaters at both schools.
And for the first time the graduations could be seen live online through the district’s Web site. More than 250 viewed the show, marking Shelby County as one of the first districts in Kentucky to broadcast it’s graduations live on the web — McCracken County Public Schools also broadcasted graduations this year.
Valedictorians Michaela Manley (SCHS) and Lindsay Tripp (Collins) thanked their parents, teachers and classmates but took different paths in their speeches.
Tripp discussed the changes Collins’ seniors have gone through.
“Last year came with big changes,” she said. “We were once united but split again for our senior year. We set a legacy for years to come.
“We’ve had four principals, three schedule changes and two schools. Change is inevitable, but we took it like champs.”
Manley talked about the fun times the seniors have shared, laughing ‘til they cried.
“And one of those times was yesterday [Friday],” she said. “When a certain somebody sat in a chair and it broke into pieces.
“Everyone tells us these past 12 years are the best of our life. But with cafeteria food, CATS tests and dress codes, I think there’ something seriously wrong with them…
“There’s a whole world outside those walls, and I encourage you to go get it.”
Graduates with honors
Magna Cum Laude
Summa Cum Laude