Friends and family of students, gathered in the gymnasium to witness their final moments of high school before venturing into the world to use their knowledge and skills.
After the JROTC posted the colors, Cody Jones, DCHS senior class vice president, began the ceremony by saying the invocation.
"Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you so much for this wonderful day of celebration!
We ask that you would bless all those who have joined us for this once in a lifetime event. We ask that you be especially with those who have traveled long distances to be here, and give them a safe return home.
We thank you for the guidance and support of our families, teachers, and friends, who have helped us make it to this day.
Bless us now as we walk this graduation stage and take the first steps in a new chapter in our lives. Be with us as we go our separate ways into the world and help us to remember all that we have learned. Please guide our hearts to the right path and forgive us when we sin. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen."
Brittany Cashion, DCHS senior class president, presented her speech to the senior class.
"We have all experienced so much through the years but here we are. The day we have anticipated for 13 years is finally here no matter the obstacle thrown in our way. Tonight is not goodbye, nor is it the end. It is merely the beginning of a new chapter in our lives. This is where we will join hands in new friendships.
Almost as if we were walking through those double doors as freshman again, so scared and nervous, yet so excited and anxious. We can all remember that day so well huh? We held onto one another for this long voyage called HIGH SCHOOL. So much has changed but one thing has not we have each other to hold on to still. Tonight lets reminisce all the good times we've shared and celebrate the beginning of the rest of our lives.
As we leave these walls at Dyer County one final time, we may go separate ways but together we remain. No matter where you are or where like takes us, CHOCTAWS WE REMAIN."
The seniors with the Highest Honors (4.0 GPA) then gave their speeches.
* Highest Honors - 4.0 GPA
Janelle Cleaves, David Lewellyng, Heath McLean, Chandler Sheppard, Cary Smith
* Janelle Cleaves:
"We're moving on. How many times have we heard this? How many times have we dreaded this, and how many times have we rejoiced this? It's anybody's guess. Moving on. The phrasing is appropriate. Moving up, moving forward, moving back, and even moving away. It's all the same: it's a change, a chance. An opportunity to glance back at our pasts and better our futures. We weren't perfect. We weren't saints, but when this service is over, I can tell you what we will be: champions. And because of our work, our perseverance, and our strength, we will always be champions. Don't lose your spark, don't lose your hope, and don't lose yourself."
* David Lewellyng:
"Well, y'all, we finally made it! After four long, hard, mundane, exciting, and everything else school years, we deserve to be proud of ourselves at this graduation ceremony. And, as I have learned in high school, life does not always go smoothly. I can still remember those first days of high school, where I was a scared little freshman not knowing what to do or how to fit in. But as, I stand here today, I can tell all of you that being yourself is the key to getting through high school; it is okay to not fit in, and, as somebody once said, 'You have to be yourself, everyone else is taken.'
Throughout high school, I felt like I never belonged to any category of students, which made me feel like an outsider; however, at the recent Field Day dance-off, I finally realized that I could truly be myself when I danced to my heart's content on the football field. So, please, anyone who can relate to my dilemma, do not feel like you have to fit in; be yourself, and let you own thinking guide you through high school and life.
Well, this is getting wordy, so just remember these words of wisdom about individuality, and live a great life! Love y'all! God bless!"
* Heath McLean:
"Muhammad Ali once said, 'Don't count the days, make the days count'. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in all the insignificant details that we forget to enjoy the little moments that make life truly worth living.
I have enjoyed every second of my high school career, and I will cherish the memories I have made throughout the last four years for the rest of my life. I would first like to thank the people who have made this experience possible. I would like to thank my Ag advisors, Mr. Ross and Mr. Smith for forcing me to step out of my comfort zone and learn how to truly succeed. I would like to thank my football coaches for teaching me the importance of hard work and dedication. I would also like to thank all my teachers for being patient and always believing in me. And most importantly, I would like to thank all my friends and family for always supporting me in everything I do.
Seniors, we don't know what the future will hold for us, but I hope that no matter what you do with your lives, you never forget the important things. Live boldly and never be afraid to take a risk. Oftentimes, we let the fear of failure rule our lives. We miss opportunities that we may never have again because we were simply afraid that we might not succeed. Never be afraid of failure.
It took Thomas Edison years of work and thousands of prototypes before he succeeded in making the electric light bulb, but when asked about his many failures, he replied, 'I just found 999 ways not to make a light bulb.' If we will all have this attitude of learning from our failures, we will all be successful in our endeavors. We only have one chance at life, so enjoy it. Class of 2010, I challenge you to make every day count."
* Chandler Sheppard:
"I would like to take a moment to thank the faculty and staff at Dyer County High School for all their help and hard work over the past four years. The education I received here will be the cornerstone upon which I will build my future.
I would also like to thank my family for all their encouragement and support. Our families are like a good student section at a basketball game. They always know what to say to cheer us on.
Next, I would like to express appreciation to my friends. The strength we draw from each other has and can help us through the toughest of times.
Finally, we should all express thanks to God. Without him none of this would be possible.
The lyrics of the song, 'Believe in Me' by the group Staind state:
Believe in me
This life's not always what it seems.
Believe in me
Cause I was made for chasing dreams.
Fellow graduates, as we chase our dreams and step into the future, let us all promise ourselves to live life to the fullest. We should all want to experience new things while we appreciate old and familiar things. We must be thoughtful of others while we work hard to better ourselves. This life doesn't have to be what it seems. We can make it what we want it to be. Thank you."
* Cary Smith, DCHS senior class treasurer:
"Good afternoon friends, family, faculty members, and classmates! Finally, the day we've been working hard for is here, and all of us are anxious and excited. We have reached this goal today because someone has encouraged us, and believed in us. It may be a family member, a friend or a teacher. Take a few seconds and look around and find them. Wave at them, or smile at them to say thank you!!!! We could not have made it without you!!!
How many of you have ever made up an excuse?
One day an office supervisor asked one of his employees, 'Do you believe in life after death?'
'Yes, sir.' replied the employee.
The supervisor replied, 'I thought you would. Yesterday after you left to go to your brother's funeral ... he stopped by to see you.'
I encourage all of us to be aware of everything we do, say, and think. Maybe you were the one who wasn't always honest, or the one who couldn't always get to school on time or maybe you were that quiet person whose ideas were never heard. Now is your opportunity to change or become a new person. Your real self will be revealed as you graduate high school and take a step into the next phase of life.
We control our own lives. As individuals, we are in charge. Others influence our lives and which direction we go, but ultimately, only YOU can make the final decision. We all possess great potential within ourselves. As we enter college, technical school, the military, a training program, or get a job, each and every one of us will strive to reach goals we set for ourselves.
Ralph Waldo Emerson once said,
'What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.'
As we graduate today, let's set our goals high, free of excuses, and make the most what lies within us!!!!"
Before the diplomas were given to the seniors the DCHS Concert Band performed "Among the Clouds" by Brian Balmages to set the tone of the ceremony.
* High Honors
William Armour, Katie Brock, Raelyn Brockway, Peyton Bunn, Hannah Butler, Amanda Crone, Cody Eichler, Hannah Evans, Kameron Flowers, Keshonna Galler, Samantha Gurley, Heather Hart, Cody Jones, Katelyn Massie, Lauren McCulloch, Rachel Moore, Rebecca Nanney, Leslie Piercey, Samantha Readenour, Kaitlin Richardson, John Russell, Jaziree Smith, Brittany Sturgill, Brittany Tillman and Jennifer Virtue
* ACT Wall of Honor - 28 or above on ACT scores
Hannah Butler, Janelle Cleaves, Hannah Evans, David Lewellyng, Todd Mauldin, Heath McLean, Chad Porter, John Russell, Chandler Sheppard, Brittany Sturgill and Garrett Wheeler
The DCHS Class of 2010~
* represents 3.2 GPA Honor
* * represents 3.8 GPA Honor Students
* * * represents 4.0 GPA Honor Students
^ represents National Honor Society
McKenzie Correy Adams, Joshua Adam Akers, Javon D'Andre Akins, Elizabeth Lorraine Allen, Joshua Kane Allen, *Jonathan Reed Alley, **^William Walker Armour, Jodeci Santonio Arnold, *Justin Derek Autry
Dawson Taylor Baker, *^Katelyn Therese Bardwell, Stephen Bryant Beasley, Crystalynn Lashae Bennett, *^Wesley Jamarr Bernard, *Rob Dillon Bevis, Roy Alan Bevis, *^Taylor Alayne Bickers, Lindsey Brooke Bohannon, Brodrick Hunter Boldon, *^Brooks Eugene Brasfield, *^Chelsea Jordan Brock, **^Katie Elizabeth Brock, **^Raelyn Jean Anastasia Brockway, *Donald Blake Bryant, **^Peyton Elizabeth Bunn, Jacob Curtis Burg, Christopher Taylor Burns, *^Miranda Rae Burr, **^Hannah Elizabeth Butler, Chelsea Marie Byars
*^Kara Danielle Camp, Alex Hunter Capps, *Brittany Katherine Nicole Carroll, Brittany Nicole Cashion, *^Easton Thomas Cecil, Alyssa Nichole Childress, Halena Marie Childress, Aaron Jakob Clark, Donald Ray Clark, *Lacey Cree Clayton, ***^Janelle Lynn Cleaves, *^Kassie Ann Cowart, *Brittney Dale Cranford, Mary Katherine Cravens, **Amanda Brooke Crone, Tristina Jean Cruz, Kelsey Alyse Cumberland
Kristen Brook Daniel, Christopher Taylor Davenport, *^Larren Ashley Davis, Shae Lynn Davis, Ali Danielle Despain, Dustin Drew Dunavant, Blake Alan Dunevant
* * ^Cody Ryan Eichler, Heather Anne Emery, Matthew Earl Enochs, **^Hannah Clae Evans, Tara Nicole Evans
Shanicqua Moschelle Ferguson, *Abigail Caitlin Finch, *^Katelyn Rose Finley, *Christina Autumn Fisher, **^Kameron Nicole Flowers, Robert Paul Frank, *^Lauren Paige French, *Matthew Tyler French
* * ^Keshonna Laneise Galler, Elaina Ann Gibson, Zachary Allen Goff, *^Robert Blake Gourley, James Keaton Gregory, ^Jessica Louise Grief, **Samantha Jo Gurley
Tyler Lee Hallum, Dyllon Keith Hammock, Colton Keith Hardin, Zachary Raithen Hardin, Blake Aaron Harris, **Heather Morgan Hart, Blake Gregory Hawkins, *Anthony Dylan Haycraft, Sara Caitlin Hayes, *^Brittany Nicole Haynes, Timothy Craig Hendrix, Ta'Furrius D'jhonte Herron, Christopher Edwin Hill, Jessica Nichole Hill, Cameron Michael Hipp, *^Cody Austin Hodge, Jessica Ann Hudson
Cedric Jamal Janes, Marteka Antionette Jenkins, *Ashley Beth Johnson, Alyssa Jean Jones, **^Cody Patrick Jones, Kathryn Elizabeth Jones
Tyler James Keierleber (deceased), Robert Ryan Scott Keith, Jessica Grace King, Kody Jo King, Robert Blake Kirby, *^William Thomas Kwasigroh
Steven Craig Lamb, Brian Christopher Boyd Laube, *Julia Louise Lawrence, Michael Wayne Lawson, Earnest Scott Lee, *Randy Ray Lee, Felicia Lynn Leggett, ***^David Albert Lewellyng, Matthew Ian Lewis, *Chelsea Wynne Lucas
*^Hillary Michelle Mann, Kalli-Rae Mann, Amber Nicole Markham, *^Casey Danielle Martin, *Julia Fernanda Martinez, **^Katelyn Elizabeth Massie, Crystal Dawn Matheny, *^Todd Daniel Mauldin, Amber Nicole McCann, Kayla Brooke McCuiston, **^Lauren Brooke McCulloch, Argus Keenan McDowell, Thomas Barham McIntire, ***^Heath Allyn McLean, Cameron Dwayne McLin, Veronica Ann Mittlestadt, Colton Charles Mondragon, Jonathon Scott Monk, *^Ashley Dawn Moore, **^Rachel Anne Moore, Jordan Nicholas Morgan
* * ^Rebecca Heather Nanney, Jeremiah James Naumann, Dalton Lynn Neace, Evan Alexander Newbaker, *David Tyler Nichols, Lucas Wade Nichols, Janie Elizabeth Norman
*^Kodi Danielle Osborne, *^William Dalton Osborne
*^Jessica Raney Parks, Brandon Lynn Patterson, Brittany Nicole Phillips, **^Leslie Dianne Piercey, Zachary Paul Pope, *^Chad Austin Porter, Katie Lynn Pritchett, Cameron Wade Pugh
Seth Thomas Ramey, **^Samantha Lanae Readenour, Hunter Dale Reasons, Kevin Andrew Reeves, Jonathan Clint Reynolds, **Kaitlin Brooke Richardson, *Caleb Dewayne Riley, Austin Lee Rivers, Latorya Lasha Robertson, *^Emily Chlawna Runions, **John Paul Russell
Ashley Renee Sandlin, Joshua Lynn Sego, Christopher Joseph Seiber, Trevor Moore Seratt, *^Brittany Michelle Shaver, *^Ashton Nicole Shawver, ***^Chandler Joe Sheppard, Brian Tyler Shipley, Alex Dalton Simmons, Jonathon Drake Simmons, Cory Wayne Sipes, Erica Nichole Sisk, Joshua David Skaggs, April Leighann Slater, ***^Cary Elizabeth Smith, **^Jaziree Latrice Smith, Tess Allen Sparkman, Cody Brooks Starks, ^Megan Marie Stokes, *Christopher Gage Stover, **^Brittany Leanne Sturgill
Cody Brian Tate, William Paul Tate, *Joshua Phillip Taylor, Dakota Lynn Thompson (deceased), Jaymes Brody Thompson, Jake Alan Thorpe, Ricky Ray Tidwell, **^Brittany Nicole Tillman, *Brittany Nichole Tomlin, *^Whitney Danielle Tucker
* * Jennifer Kay Virtue
Stanley Franklin Wallace, Kelcie Brianna Warren, *^Rebecca Carol Warren, Clifton Edward Watts, Alexander Lynn Webb, Justin Alan Webb, Breanna Haley Wells, Holly Anne Wells, Dustin Michael Wesley, *^Garrett Blake Wheeler, *^Keaton Jacobi Wheeler, *^Jacob Taylor White, Rex Tyler White, *^Deidra La Shay Wiggins, Gregory D'Shawn Wilkes, Cody James Hunter Williams, *April Porchia Wilson, Nancy Elizabeth Wilson, Amanda Carol Winberry, Samuel Cody Winchester, Tyler Lynn Winchester, *^Kaitlyn Elizabeth Wood
Amanda Nicole Young
* Class Officers
President - Brittany Cashion
Vice President - Cody Jones
Secretary - Rachel Moore
Treasurer - Cary Smith
Rachel Moore, DCHS senior class secretary, ended the ceremony with the benediction.
We come to you today to thank you for such a beautiful day. We come to you asking that you will guide us on our journey in the next chapter of our lives. We pray that you will fill us with wisdom to make good choices in our future. Also, please be with our troops who are serving to protect our country, and giving us the freedom to celebrate our graduation today.
In Christ's name we pray, Amen."