LaFayette graduates 58 seniors Monday

Published 8:08 am Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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It wasn’t the ceremony that was envisioned at the start of August, but LaFayette High School was able to hold its graduation ceremony on Monday in its gym.

At 7 p.m. CT, Pomp and Circumstance started to play over the speaker system. The 58 seniors proceeded to walk along the walking track and down the middle stands to the floor, where there were white chairs set up six feet apart for the graduates.

Shakwanza Thomas and Jalan Drummond were the two seniors that addressed the class and the families in the stands.

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“We finally made it y’all,” Thomas said in her address. “I remember our eighth-grade ceremony like it was yesterday, and now look at us. We’re graduating high school.”

Thomas talked through the journey the class had gone through during their four years at LaFayette High School.

“How could I sum up these amazing, unpredictable four years of my life?” Thomas asked. “There are so many memories, good and bad that we share.”

One of the memories that she brought up was the group’s first pep rally together, which did not go as planned because the class didn’t want to participate.

“On a serious note, I loved this journey,” Thomas said. “Now, the real journey begins when the tassel turns. The real world is not going to be easy but with God first and hard work, we can conquer anything.”

Drummond also brought up different memories from his four years of school in his address to the class. One of the memories was the announcement of an extended spring break in 2020.

“We were all so excited, but that sense of excitement was quickly extinguished,” Drummond said. “As soon as Gov. [Kay] Ivey announced that schools would close, my phone rang. It was my favorite classmates’ group chat. We all began to recall the memories we shared as a class.”

Drummond went through the class of 2020’s four years together, bringing up different memories. Among those memories were their first pep rally as freshmen, the first “come-to-Jesus meeting” with Principal Don Turner, driver’s education with head boys basketball coach Obadiah Threadgill and the standout moments from the 2019-2020 school year.

“This is only the beginning of our legacy,” Drummond said. “I’ve always told you that LaFayette produces great things, and if you haven’t noticed already, the class of 2020 has produced great things as well. Our students have successfully positioned themselves by not becoming a statistic, by not becoming what those around us said that we would become.”

Marcus Curry followed Drummond’s speech with a song about family, describing how even though the class doesn’t always get along, they are a family and have each other’s back.

“I’m proud of you class of 2020,” Turner said. “You’ve had to overcome a lot. We’re proud of you and we’re hoping that you go out and do great things in this world. Just put God first and everything else will work out.”