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Troup celebrates 274 graduates receiving diplomas

LaGRANGE — Although Troup High School’s graduation time moved to 6:30 p.m., 274 students enthusiastically received their diplomas at Callaway Stadium Friday night. Students were supposed to walk at 8 p.m., however due to possible inclement weather, the time was changed.

Senior class president Ryan Bliss welcomed those who attended, and STAR student Anna Leah Davis gave opening thoughts.

“We may have no way of knowing what the future will hold, but we do know this — we’ve been given the tools to bring about a future that’s brighter than our present,” Davis said.

Salutatorian Grace Cotton related the school to home and talked about the it’s motto “Believe in THS.”

“We weren’t sure what to think of it first or how long it would last,” Cotton said. “Once it started showing up everywhere, from Facebook to newspaper articles, this motto slowly started to make a difference in our school and in our hearts. We learned to believe in ourselves. We learned to believe in each other, and we learned that our teachers, at times, believed in us more than we did in ourselves.”

Valedictorian Nicholas Ryan talked about how he and his classmates were able to learn what made them who they are and that they’re always changing.

“We have the power to make ourselves better, for us of course, not everybody else,” Ryan said.

Ryan also talked about how there’s no deadline in figuring out who they are and thanking those who have helped them with that along the way.

“Here’s to the next step and here’s to us, all versions of ourselves — past, present and future,” Ryan said.

Principal Chip Medders told the class of 2018 to students to keep the spirit of a finisher in life.

“Everyone experiences adversity. It is those who stay strong to the finish who are rewarded,” Medders said. “Pace yourself. Tonight is just one leg of your race. Be determined to go the distance.”

Medders also took a moment of silence for the students in the class of 2018 who died before graduation — Kyle Abernathy, Megan Lindsey and Bailey Burtron. A ribbon was placed on chairs for each.

The seniors walked the stage after remarks from Troup County Superintendent Cole Pugh.