The class motto for 2006 is, “Over the years we’ve seen losses and gains, but through it all we’ve held together.”

The first part of the motto was sadly obvious, with the loss of a certain senior, Jacy Poston, on everyone’s mind.

A moment of silence in honor of Jacy was included in the opening ceremony.

What followed was the honoring of the 32 other Bray-Doyle students for their 12 years of hard work that culminated in Friday’s graduation ceremony on the football field.

Dustin Moore led the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by a salutatory address by Tyler Melton.

“All we can do is our best. If you do your best, then you have succeeded. So I’ll leave you with this message – never settle for anything less than your best,” Melton said in his speech.

Jessica VanLare, Audrey Voss and Ashley Corcorran gathered at the lectern to sing a song, and then Brian Kreiger, Charlene Warren and Trey Mayes gave the valedictory addresses.

“Never settle for vanilla, when what you really want is strawberry and banana with chocolate chips and a cherry,” Kreiger said of the importance of reaching for goals.

Warren focused on some of the important lessons the students learned while at Bray-Doyle School, including never to run from the game warden. And Mayes spoke about how close the seniors had become over the years.

“The bond we have created with each other will remain for the rest of our lives,” he said.

Superintendent Kevin McKinley closed the speech portion of the ceremony with words of encouragement for the students to use their individual gifts and talents.

“Some, I know, are ready to take the plunge, to get away and see what the next chapter of this life is all about,” McKinley said. He continued, “I want to challenge you to continue to work on your gifts and your talents.”

McKinley closed with an encouragement to keep smiling, as Jacy was known to do.

Almost a million dollars worth of scholarships to Bray-Doyle seniors was announced after the speeches.

Then the students were called to the stage, one by one, to accept their diplomas.

The seniors then exchanged roses for hugs with family members before gathering in a tight-knit circle to apply the second phrase of the school motto of holding together, one last time.

They doused the air and each other with silly string, adding literal and figurative color to their last time together as a group.

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