Jerry Smith, Jr.
Welcome to the Lion’s Den where it is always a good day to be a Luella Lion!With the 2016 – 2017 school year completed, it’s time to not only reflect on our just-finished year, but also ponder the upcoming 2017 – 2018 school year.
2016 - 2017 was mixed with all those emotions, ups and downs, challenges, successes, etc… that one associates with anything worth doing. Our Luella community worked hard throughout the year.Some highlights would include:
- Luella High School being designated by the Georgia Department of Education and the College Board as an Advanced Placement Champion School.
- The Wrestling Lions placing 3rd in both Duals and Traditional wrestling in the Class AAAA Wrestling tournaments, including multiple wrestlers taking region titles and finishing in the top 4 in Class AAAA.
- The Girls’ Basketball Lions making into the Sweet Sixteen round of the Class AAAA State Basketball tournament.
- Mr. Latrell Murray, a junior, becoming a State Champion in the 300 meter hurdles in Class AAAA.
- The Baseball Lions making into the Sweet Sixteen round of the Class AAAA State Baseball tournament.
- Luella High School’s CCRPI score (for school year 2016) increasing over 5 points, moving us to 71.5 with this increase being aided by our graduation rate increasing 80.9% to 85.9%.
And, most importantly, we graduated 252 seniors on Friday, May 26 which represents approximately 91% of seniors graduating. We know that more will graduate in July.
Speaking of graduation, it was a magical night…the members of the Class of 2017 celebrated each other as each was conferred the Luella High School diploma.
The speakers at graduation offered amusing, heartfelt, soulful words:
- Valedictorian Rebecca Bates intoned: “…I am not here because I wanted to be Valedictorian…I’m here because I was too stubborn to fail. We are all here because we are too stubborn to fail."
- Salutatorian Emily Pugh spoke of gaining confidence in her freshmen year by donating some of her hair to an organization that crafts wigs for girls who are undergoing cancer treatment and suffer hair loss.
- She explained: “Something felt right about donating my hair and taking on a new look, I was helping someone else regain confidence while gaining new confidence in myself.”
- She went on to explain that earlier this year, her foundation had been shaken personally and now felt the need: “To start, (As she cut part of her hair), this is me regaining my confidence and showing that I believe in myself again.”
- Together she and Rebecca, finished cutting Emily’s hair…and closed the moment with a final powerful message: “One person alone can’t change the world. But if we all step forward and contribute, even just a few bricks at a time, to a CAUSE we believe in - - THAT WILL BUILD SKYSCRAPERS.”
- With few dry eyes left in the audience, Senior Class President Nykrea Milner offered during the Turning of the Tassel moment:
- “You have to decide if this next event(after graduation) is your beginning a new chapter, or your closing the book. Beginning a new chapter simply means that you’re still following a greater plot – that you’re going after a different resolution. Closing the book, on the other hand, means that this is the resolution you need - - that you’re ready to begin a new book.”
And, as the 2017 seniors turned their tassels among streams of Luella blue and silver confetti and streamers, we as a school breathed a sigh of relief, for once again we had opened that most important portal between high school and the real world and ushered over 250 new young adults into the world. Congratulations to each 2017 Luella High School graduate!
The Lions will take a brief rest and be ready for the first day of school for the 2017 – 2018 school year on Monday July 31, 2017.
Go Lions!And, remember to follow us: @LHS_HCS
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