Neal students recall ‘bonds’ at graduation
Special bonds and perseverance were the themes for the graduating class of W.S. Neal High School Friday night as the class’ top students addressed their classmates.
“Since kindergarten, we have formed special bonds that many of us will care throughout our lives,” Salutatorian Kaitlin Hadaway said “A class like ours comes along once in a great while. That’s what makes these 13 years together so special.”
Gracee Dixon, valedictorian for the class, explained there are two keys for lifetime success — perseverance and the ability to learn from failure.
“We learned in elementary school about the tortoise and the hare and the little engine that could,” Dixon said. “Those stories set the stage for perseverance throughout our lives.”
Dixon told her classmates that hurdles in life were inevitable, but persistence would help get each person get over them.
“To succeed, you must fail,” Dixon said. “You must fail so you’ll know what not to do next time. Think like Babe Ruth. Even though we will experience many strikeouts in our lifetimes, there’s a homerun right around the corner.”
As Dixon made her closing comments, she reminded each classmate that their success lies in their own hands.
“Infuse your life with action,” Dixon said. “You can make it happen.”
Escambia County Probate Judge Doug Agerton delivered a commencement address reminding students of the blessings of being a graduate of W.S. Neal High School.
“I was blessed to live in East Brewton and blessed to attend W.S. Neal High School,” Agerton said. “I formed relationships here that have meant more to me than good grades and degrees. I hope that you have formed those kinds of relationships in your time here. Relationships with everyday people have gotten me where I am today. I hope that you have people who are important in your life.”
W.S. Neal Principal Patricia Frazier and Assistant Principal Todd Williamson handed out diplomas to each of the 93 graduating seniors with Dixon and Hadaway receiving the first diplomas presented.