Isabella graduates its largest class

Published 1:37 pm Thursday, June 3, 2021

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Isabella High School held their 2021 graduation at Bill Nabors Stadium on June 2 at 7 p.m.

Class Vice President Anna Farris opened the ceremony with invocation and was followed by a welcome speech by class President Robin Burnette and Principal Ricky Porter. Porter said this was the largest graduating class in school history with 62 graduates.

Superintendent Jason Griffin also spoke to the graduates.

“Congratulations to the Isabella High School class of 2021,” Griffin said. “As I was considering what to say to you, the word survivor kept popping into my mind. Then after much thought and prayer [I realized], you are not survivors; you are overcomers.”

The graduation, much like the past school year, was a little different than in previous years. They recognized some of the graduates and their achievements, similar to an honors day ceremony.

Something that Isabella classes have traditionally done is the dedication of their yearbook to a staff or facility member that has impacted them. They chose school nurse Raeanna Carter for the hard work she has done, according to Burnette.

“We would like to thank her for always being there when we need her, whether there is a pandemic happening or not,” Burnette said. “We are thankful for her sweet disposition and loving personality.”

Salutatorians Micah Drinkard and Allie Watts addressed how the pandemic may have kept them from a normal high school experience, but it has made them stronger by doing so.

“Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, ‘What lies behind us and what lies in front of us pales in comparison to what lies within us,’” Watts said.

“Because we went through a once in a lifetime pandemic, we are stronger, braver and more prepared for whatever life may throw at us,” Drinkard said. “If you ever find yourself in any of life’s struggles, remember what the Lord says in Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.’”

This would also be a common theme for the valedictorian speeches given by Anna Farris, Benjamin Martin and Reid Mitchell. Mitchell said he believes they have gained more than what the pandemic took from them.

“We gained an appreciation of being together, we learned not to take these times for granted,” Mitchell said. “The hardships we have overcome, brought us closer together. Although [there is] much we have lost, we’ve gained so much more.”

Porter told the class how proud he was of them and left them with some words of encouragement.

“William Arthur Ward said, ‘If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it,’” Porter said. “So class of 2021, the class that can’t be stopped, go forward and live the life you have dreamed for yourselves, and make each day a great day to be a Mustang.”

More photos available here: IHS Graduation.