Jack County seniors celebrate graduation
Despite a senior year unlike any other, the class of 2020 at Jack County high schools celebrated their graduations on Friday, May 22, evening.
Even with forecasts of severe thunderstorms throughout the day, the rain held off and the lightning remained overhead allowing the ceremonies to take place without interruptions.
With restrictions in place due to COVID-19, each county school had moved its ceremonies from its gymnasiums to its football stadiums. The districts also enacted social distancing guidelines and made sure its graduates and attendees were properly distanced from each other.
Each school also recognized students for senior awards and scholarships because the award banquets did not take place before COVID-19 closed campuses for the remainder of the year.
Perrin-Whitt High School had 15 members leave the school for bigger and better things during its ceremony at Pirates Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
Despite the crazy school year, salutatorian Clay McLemore reminded his classmates they were better for the experience.
“This is not the end of our journey, simply another chapter in our lives,” McLemore said in his salutatory address.
Valedictorian Kelli Tucker went through an entertaining grade by grade breakdown of her memories of school. She said while the class was separated from each other due COVID-19, nothing could take away their memories of the past 12 to 14 years.
“We learned lessons of love and friendship,” Tucker said of her class, which she remarked one teacher said “was a loud, rambunctious class.”
A highlight of the 70-minute ceremony was the passing of flowers by the graduates to family members.
Bryson High School said farewell to 15 graduates during its graduation ceremony at 8:30 p.m. in Cowboys Stadium.
Valedictorian Bailey Smith recognized and honored classmate Morgan Larance who passed away in 2019 after being diagnosed with necrotizing encephalomyelitis in 2017,
“As a graduate and as someone who is going into the world, you are still allowed to say ‘I don’t know,’” Smith said. “Just because you being counted on doesn’t mean you can’t say ‘I will get back with you.’ We have to remember what we did here and if we focus on the moments we missed out on, we are going to miss the small moments we have now.”
A class of 69 graduates at Jacksboro High School went out with a bang as a fireworks show concluded the 8:30 p.m. ceremony at Tiger Stadium.
Valedictorian Baylee Thompson reminisced on some of the adversities which the class saw during its lifetime and school careers.
“We have developed the understanding that bad things can and will happen,” Thompson said. “But, it is the lesson you take out of the situation that matters most.”
She added the adversities which the class has faced has helped them understand the need to serve others who are going through difficulties and be a light in their lives.