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Resiliency defines JHS graduation

Adversity was the commonly used word during Jemison High School’s graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 on June 6.

“We shouldn’t do what is easy, but what is right,” Emmanuel Garcia-Carrera said. “Kindness will assist us in doing what is right.”

It was a common theme following the school year being cut short due to the coronavirus pandemic.

“You are no strangers to adversity,” Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin said.

While addressing the crowd, Griffin pointed out that the seniors making up the graduating class were born into a world of chaos, having been born in 2001, the same year that the terrorist attacks occurred on 9/11.

“You are not rookies in the game of life, you are veterans with a lot of playing time left,” Griffin said. “Stay flexible, stay patient and be ready for the next chapter.”

The graduation ceremony was moved to Panther Stadium due to the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by Anthony Richards)

Following Griffin’s speech, the group of seniors were given a standing ovation from the crowd.

“We didn’t get to experience every senior milestone, but we never lost faith,” Hannah Childress said.

The event was held at Panther Stadium, as the students sat in chairs on the same field where some of them played football last fall.

Family members filled the stands and looked down as their loved ones had their names announced and made the long walk across the field to receive their diploma.

The valedictorians and salutatorians each took a moment to address those on hand.

Some students, such as Abby Allred, drew from entertainment and pop culture as ideas of inspiration.

Allred quoted a line from the movie “The Amazing Spiderman 2.”

Thanks to fundraising efforts during the school year, the class of 2020 gave a gift to the school for funding the improvements to the JHS auditorium seats.