The Duncan Banner

Homepage

May 23, 2014

Velma-Alma seniors honor classmate at graduation

VELMA — The 2014 graduating class of Velma-Alma High School received diplomas on Thursday night and paid homage to a classmate who wasn’t there.

During the roll call of 21 seniors who were called to the stage, the name of Braylee Rae Henry also was invoked, drawing sustained applause from the estimated 400  spectators gathered inside J.M. Carey Field House.

Minutes earlier, when parents were recognized during a rose ceremony, a dozen or so members of the class each walked up a stairway to the upper reaches of the gymnasium to present a rose to Renee Henson, Henry’s mother, who lost her 16-year-old daughter in a brutal slaying on June 6, 2012, in Velma.

There were no speeches or other acknowledgements of the tragic loss of Henry during the commencement exercise.

Melinda Childress, a counselor at the school, said anything the school has done in connection with Henry’s death has been done without great fanfare or publicity. On Tuesday, during the class awards ceremony, the seniors presented Henson with a memory book and a class photo, Childress said.

Despite the tragedy, the seniors who addressed the crowd expressed hope for the future and gratitude for the guidance given by the faculty and administrators of the rural school district.

“There’s no place else I would rather go to school,” said Jordan Layn, co-salutatorian of the class. Her  fellow salutatorian, Teddi Southerland, told her classmates that graduating high school is “one of the greatest accomplishments in life.”

Sidney Lewis, valedictorian of the class, urged her classmates to change the world.

“Carry with you everything this place has taught us,” she said in her speech. “Show them nothing is impossible, especially for a Comet.”

The commencement address was delivered by Greg Pierce, the superintendent of Pontotoc Technology Center in Ada,  a Velma-Alma alumnus. He told the students education doesn’t end at their commencement.

“It’s a lifelong process,” he said.

VELMA SENIORS 2014

Jesse Anderson

Marli Barney                    

Alan Beck                    

Lyndsie Carroll                

Hannah Crawford                

Colby Crowson                

Garrett DeArmond                

Jaz Gayanich                    

Trey Gutherie                    

Tommy Hopkins                

Rebecca Humphreys                

Ariah Johnson                    

Chelsie Jones                    

Jordan Layn                    

Sidney Lewis

Matthew McCalister

Samantha Moore                

Josh Newton                    

Teddi Southerland                

Conner Sullivan

Kelcey Tadlock

Braylee Henry (in memory)



 

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Old Settlers Picnic

The 6-man teams line up to start the ranch rodeo event at the 124th annual Velma Old Settlers Picnic.

Features
Sports
Education
Opinion
Special Deals
AP Video
Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Poll

Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results
Facebook