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Gadsden County High celebrates more than 200 graduates

Gadsden County High School’s football stadium was packed on Thursday, May 23 as more than 200 students graduated. 

Many parents wore t-shirts adorned with the name and photos of the graduates they were there in support of.

Loved ones yelled from the stands for the students as their names were called.

Many of the seniors who have chosen to attend college, join the military or a career path were acknowledged that evening.

Gadsden County Schools officials also recognized graduates who were dual enrolled while in high school.

Thirteen students were dual enrolled in college; two of them–Avalondria Sapp and Trevon Lee–received an Associate of Arts degree from Tallahassee Community College in early May.

Two students–Christian Barnes and Ladon Enzor–earned their certification from Gadsden Techs and were already licensed barbers before crossing the stage.

The top 10 academic scholars were also acknowledged during the graduation.

 They are: valedictorian, Avalondria Sapp, salutatorian Darryl Culver, Amarielle Lawson, De’Asia Vickers, Geovannay Gullen Bautista, Katie Lugo, Azharia Bascom, Zakeelah Brown, Kylie Hopkins, Ra’Niyah Thomas.

“We’ve come a long way from those Zoom sessions during the pandemic in 2020, missing our eighth grade graduation, to finally standing here today,” valedictorian Avalondria Sapp said during her speech.

Sapp also reminded her classmates of advice from the school’s principal, Chelsea Franklin, “Life is 10 percent of what happens to you, and 90 percent how you react.”

In true Gen Z fashion, she turned around to take a selfie with her classmates behind her, before leaving the stage.

During his speech, the class’ salutatorian Daryll Culver said life will present challenges but by being well prepared they will be equipped to handle it.

“Instead of remaining hurt forever or depressed, we can learn and grow from our sufferings,” Culver said. “That’s the most meaningful part of our life…we can learn love from loss; we can build stronger relationships from broken ones, we can turn pain into purpose.”

Chris Daniels – Gadsden County News Service