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Beulah Class of 2018 celebrates graduation

BEULAH, Ala. — A large crowd was jammed into the Jerry Southwell Gym Thursday evening to celebrate diploma presentations to 62 Beulah High graduates. The event took place indoors rather than on the field at Bobcat Stadium due to the possibility of rain.

While it was a happy occasion for most of the families present, two families received diplomas under heartbreaking circumstances.

School Principal Dr. Cincrystal Poythress made posthumous presentations to the families of David Scott Coulter and Joseph David Smith Jr. These two boys were on course to graduate this year but tragically died before they had the chance to walk before a large crowd and receive that diploma.

The two families appeared grateful that school officials remembered their sons in such a thoughtful way.

Class of 2018 graduate Oliver Mills led the gathering in the Pledge of Allegiance.

The class salutatorian, Ashlee Sanders, urged her classmates to continue with the Bobcat spirit of believing that they can make their dreams come true with hard work.

“We have the power to do great things,” she said. “There are times when anything seems possible and days when it just seems so hard. At the end of the day, dreams coming true will depend on how hard you worked.”

Class Valedictorian Lora Bozeman cited a strong sense of unity among this year’s class.

“We’re like a family,” she said. “We have always held our own and supported each other. We learn something from every person we meet, and we can carry those lessons for the rest of our lives.”

She said that school wasn’t the most important thing in life. “What’s most important is letting His light shine through you,” she said. “What happens to you does not define you, but it does change you. How you deal with that is what matters. Remind those you love how much you love them every day because we never know what tomorrow brings. As we part ways, I know we will make some kind of difference in this world. I hope we never forget what we learned here at this school.”

Dr. Poythress told the seniors that this had been a very special class to her.

“When you stand up for something,” she said. “Your life will have purpose. May all your accomplishments make a positive difference for this world we live in.”