J.E. “Hot” O'Brien Stadium was filled with proud parents, family and friends to see 146 members of the largest graduating class in Tallassee High School history take their final walk as students Friday.
It was a special time for principal Matt Coker as he handed his daughter and class president, Gracie Coker, her diploma. Gracie Coker delivered the welcome speech.
"Wow, I remember thinking four years ago that this day couldn't get here fast enough but now I stand here in awe at just how quick it has arrived," she said.
Following the welcome, Miriam Bird offered the night's invocation.
"Lord, we pray for these graduating students and we pray that You will give them direction as they enter the next phase of their lives," she said.
Salutatorian Emma Coyle said the moment was a celebration “of hard work, countless achievements and the fastest four years of our lives.”
Co-valedictorian Catherine Crawford recognized those who played a part in developing each senior.
“As I look out at the rows of caps and gowns before me, I see my friends of 12-plus years,” she said. “I see people who have played an enormous part in shaping me into the person I am today.”
Co-valedictorian D'Angelia Holmes urged her classmates to remain focused on accomplishments.
"The world is ours,” she said. “This is just the beginning and it's exciting but it comes with great responsibility. No knows what the world holds for us. If we are willing to stay
focused on our goals we will obtain so much more than we can image. Our future will be full of successes if we keep our focus.”
Before delivering diplomas to the graduates, Matt Coker remembered his graduation from THS at the same stadium in 1990.
Before closing the ceremony, Trace Bush offered the benediction and Madelyn Martin gave the closing remarks.
Class officers concluded the ceremony by leading the seniors in the THS alma mater, filling the stadium with melody.