RACHEL C. DOVE
BELFRY, Ky. - For 182 Belfry High School students, their years of education that began long ago are now behind them, as they took their final walk across the stage inside the school gymnasium Wednesday night, receiving the diploma that confirmed they had successfully completed their high school career.
For many seniors, it’s a bitter-sweet moment when reality sets in and they realize they are no longer considered teenagers, but instead, are classified as young men and women who are preparing to embark on the next chapter of their life.
Expressions on the faces of the 2012 graduates varied greatly, with quite a few portraying smiles and laughter mixed with a shout of “We did it!”, while others were seen with tear-stained cheeks as they hugged their friends and classmates who had been a part of their life for several years.
Most of the graduates plan to seek a higher level of education, including plans to attend colleges, universities and vocational centers. A few, however; stated they planned to find full-time employment as quickly as possible, and that they hoped to locate jobs that paid well that didn’t require them to be a college graduate.
During the commencement exercise, Teacher Tammy Casey was the 2012 choice to receive the “William S. Justice Award” for being an outstanding educator. Casey is a Business and Computer instructor, and said that she was honored to be selected for the prestigious acknowledgement. Casey was presented her award by Principal Rod Varney.
The 2012 Commencement Speaker was Greg Stumbo, the Commonwealth of Kentucky Speaker of the House of Representatives. Stumbo encouraged the graduates to persevere, to always follow their dreams, and to never stop learning.
He spoke kindly of the Belfry High School Administration, and reminded the graduates of how blessed they were to have teachers and educators who strived daily to instill not only knowledge and wisdom into their minds, but morals, values and the desire to succeed.
The 2012 graduating class makes the seventh group of students to pass through the doors of the new facility.