Carson kicks off graduations
By Maggie Blackwell
About 2,000 guests filled the Carson High School gymnasium, filling bleachers to the rafters, to see the class of 2009 graduate. An overflow crowd of another 125 lined the perimeter of the gym.
The Carson Brass Ensemble played as graduates filed in. Flags were presented by the Army JROTC Color Guard and the crowd joined in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Principal Henry Kluttz presided, explaining the meaning of various colored cords worn by graduates: distinguished honors, honors, high honors and honors with distinction.
Courtney Cress, president of the student body, quoted Robert Orben, saying, “A graduation ceremony is an event where the commencement speaker tells thousands of students dressed in identical caps and gowns that ‘individuality’ is the key to success.”
She veered from the normal “how to succeed” speech and shared 10 tips on how to fail, written by columnist James Scheckowetz.
Senior class president Casey Wellmon led the graduates in applauding their parents, grandparents and teachers, “without whom we would not be graduating today.”
Andrew Hebert, valedictorian, started humorously, then inspired graduates with his uplifting message. And finally, Alex Basinger, salutatorian, charged his audience to seek challenges and greet them with enthusiasm. He quoted Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
At Henderson Independent High School’s graduation Thursday evening, the power went out just as people were starting to leave. Hail was beating on windows at the school as the storm rolled through and the roads on both sides of the school were flooded.