CLAYTON — Tri-County North High school celebrated the graduation of 89 seniors at Salem Church of God on Thursday, May 26. Three valedictorians led the occasion, each addressing the audience and their classmates.
The first of the three, Macey Dennison, drew an extended life metaphor around the message of her favorite movie, Forrest Gump, which posits that “life is like a box of chocolates” because every part of the journey contains surprises.
“We have argued, laughed, cried,” she said, occasionally choking up, “and lived this high school journey together as a group. I pray that wherever life takes you, you enjoy the sweet chocolates and take the bitter pieces as they come. I pray that the bitterness be short lived and the sweetness lives on forever. I hope that your box of chocolates is full of sweetness and happiness.”
Dennison’s co-valedictorians were copper-topped fraternal twins Aidan and Sean Tomlin, who took a more comedic approach: Aidan opened his speech by pointing out that May 26 was also World Redhead Day and giving “a shout out to all the redheads.”
Sean followed Aidan at the podium and said, “I know what you’re thinking: ‘Wasn’t he just up here?’”
Aidan spoke about the lessons he learned in high school, though acknowledged he didn’t realize they were lessons at the time. He summed up that perspective by quoting from the song “Fireworks” by rapper Drake: “All in all, I learned a lesson from it, though/You don’t get to see it coming, you just get to see it go.”
Third co-valedictorian Sean Tomlin also spoke, along with salutatorian Taylor Tucker. Senior class advisors Dodi Finnigan and Rhonda Schaar, who spoke from a unique perspective — their daughters Kathleen and Alyse were among the graduates.
Said Dennison, who also led the tassel turn, “Thank you so much for growing up with me.”
Reach Duante Beddingfield at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @duanteb_RH.