IHS graduating ‘family’ takes on the tassels

Published 2:37 pm Friday, May 25, 2018

Looming thunderclouds and whispers of rain could do nothing to dampen the determination of 53 seniors graduating Isabella High School on May 24.

“The start of our future begins tonight,” Miranda Smitherman, one of the 2018 valedictorians, told her classmates. “All of us will go our separate ways into life and become the person we were meant to be.”

And they are well on their way.

According to Principal Ricky Porter, the IHS Class of 2018 will forever stand apart as a class that exemplified charity: “overall goodwill towards others.”

“In the Bible, there’s a lot of desirable qualities that are mentioned: faith, hope, charity. But it says the greatest of these is charity,” Porter said. “What a great and desirable quality to possess.”

Porter said the class holds a special place in his heart, explaining that they were the first grade class when he first took his position as principal at IHS 12 years ago.

“I’ve watched them grow and mature into a well-rounded group of young men and women — an energetic, fun loving, charismatic group that will greatly be missed,” he said.

Salutatorians included Jayda Jones and Kinley Tuttle, who both reminisced favorite experiences and thanked family, friends, faculty and staff for their help in bringing the graduating class to the much-anticipated moment.

Valedictorians Gustavo Gonzalez, Isaac Graham, Olivia Payne and Smitherman also recognized their school, friends and family for their steady support.

“Without you, not one of us would be here today,” Graham said. ”You were there for us when we needed help, you helped us to see all the possibilities of what we could become, and then pushed us to become even greater than we could possibly imagine.”

Payne said the Class of 2018 had become like a family, easily joined by more recent members of the class due to the group’s reputed friendliness.

“Family grows up and moves on, but despite all this, family is still family. And family still loves and grows and flourishes with one another,” she said. “And whether you like it or not, you can’t choose family — just like we couldn’t choose our classmates.”

“We have gotten here by being together,” Gonzalez said, “and we are going to continue forward, just as we always have: together.”