OPINION: County produces another crop of talented graduates

Published 3:23 pm Friday, June 19, 2020

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I had the privilege of covering four graduations within a week span, and although that may seem like a lot, it never got old.

It really verified what I had already known to be true in my roughly five years working for the paper, which is that Chilton County produces a lot of promising students that have the possibility for bright futures ahead of them.

Covering school events and their sports over the years, I have come to know many students after interviewing and photographing them, some of which I interviewed on multiple occasions.

You develop a certain relationship with the people you routinely cover, as you get to know a little more about them with every encounter.

This makes covering graduations a special time for me each year, because the Class of 2020 was the first class I had covered for the length of their high school career.

At times, it is like watching a family member walk across the stage and receive their diploma.

One of the coolest things about being a journalist and covering high schools is that you get a front row seat to be along for the ride and watch these students go from being uncoordinated and unsure freshman to confident and assured seniors.

That is why I enjoy any chance I get to cover a graduation.

It has been well talked about how this year’s graduations were in doubt for some time due to the pandemic, but I thought it ended up working out extremely well and it was spread out nicely, so that no two graduations were held on the same day.

At each of the public-school graduations I was at, Chilton County Schools Superintendent Jason Griffin was there along with school board member Chris Smith.

You expect to see Griffin there as superintendent, but it was a great sight to see Smith there at each ceremony as well.

I hope that more school board members will consider attending as many graduations as they can in the future.

I know I appreciated seeing Smith there, and I thought it was a great sign of respect to the Class of 2020 for all they had been through to get to that point.

Smith’s effort to attend each graduation should be applauded because he didn’t have to show up, but he chose to show up and have a presence.

That is the type of county comradery that should not be ignored.