The Journey is over for 211 Picayune graduates


Picayune Memorial High School held commencement services for the class of 2017, Thursday night, at Lee-Triplett Stadium in front of over 3,000 attendees. The size of the crowd forced officials to allow people to cross the football field and sit in the visitor’s stands.

Salutatorian Delora Denney reminded her classmates of what they were witnesses to as students during their four years of high school.

“We saw our football team become 5A state champions, our softball team become south state champions, and our swim team become 5A state champions," Denney said. "These are just a few of the many accomplishments. They are countless more. We are accomplished people, accomplished high school graduates, and I am absolutely positive we will go on to do great things."

Valedictorian Gelsey Guerra reminded her classmates of how they started and where they are today and added a bit of humor in doing so.

“Today we celebrate. We celebrate our academic achievements and our extracurricular accomplishments and the fact that we have had so many so far," Guerra said. "About 13 years ago we were on the cusp of beginning our academic careers. We were nervous, anxious children clinging on to our mothers out of fear and dread of the unknown future. So basically nothing has changed."

“As we end this bittersweet, memorable chapter of our lives, we find ourselves on the verge of endless possibilities," Looking to the future, Guerra shared. "Today fellow graduates, as cliché as it sounds, today is the first day of the rest of our lives. I see 211 graduates before me who can take the opportunity to better our society.”

The Class of 2017 left eight concrete benches as their class gift. The class selected Mr. Tom Tucei as the teacher to lead them into the stadium on their final walk.

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