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May 19, 2013

Empire graduates share humor, wise advice from elders

EMPIRE — Empire’s salutatorian Dalton Balentine injected humor as he spoke to his fellow graduating seniors Friday and he also imparted advice from someone he respected.

As he pointed out several people who helped shape his character, there was one person he couldn’t forget, even though they weren’t in the audience. The words of Balentine’s grandfather who passed away earlier this year were shared.

“I wish he were here to tell me ‘Boy, you did good,’” he said. “One thing he always told me as I left his house was ‘Be nice to everybody all the time no matter what.’”

All classes are unique is what Vicki Davidson, superintendent of Empire Public Schools, told the Empire High School Class of 2013 at the start of their graduation. The class membership had 34 graduates and as the class made their way to the school’s cafetorium, statements such as “this is for real” and “we’re really  doing this” could be heard.

“This graduation is special because it is your day and there will never be another senior class just like you. I’m proud of you,” Davison said.

Senior Kaylah Beebe got her wish.

“It went by fast but it’s bittersweet,” she said. “I’m looking forward to college but I’m going to miss my friends.”

Both Alyssa George and Cordell Setters gave their valedictorian addresses.

George focused on facing and triumphing over any adversity with faith in God.

She told her peers to not focus on their flaws, but instead focus on their talents.

“I love each and every one of you,” she said.

“I hope you find what you’re looking for in life.”

Setters credited faith, family, friends and educators. He also addressed best friend and fellow classmate Corbin Henderson.

“We’ve been friends since we were two and we’ve been through so much together,” he said. “I’m thankful as I look back on our time together and growing up as brothers.”

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