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Graduates urged to always pursue dreams

Editor’s note: Today, The DAILY LEADER begins publication of valedictorian and salutatorian speeches from recent graduation ceremonies at local schools. Today’s address is from Brookhaven Academy Valedictorian Terah Winborne.

     Well we finally made it. Graduation day is here. After all these years, it is hard to believe that the time has come to say goodbye.

     I would like to start off by thanking all of the teachers, faculty, administrators, and especially our parents and family for all the time they have invested in us and our futures. I know, by no means, have we been an easy class to handle, so I thank the teachers for their patience, understanding, and incredible self control.

     Boy, have we put them through a lot. From driving Mrs. Sbravati crazy in fourth grade by playing Fear Factor in the cafeteria to creating elementary detention at Brookhaven Academy in sixth grade to our most recent emergency fundraising efforts to avoid taking final exams as punishment for our senior prank, we have definitely had some crazy times. These times were fun for us, but very trying for our teachers, administrators, and parents. So, thank you for continuing to support and believe in us. You helped make us who we are today.

     Although we have had a few wild and crazy moments, our class has achieved a great number of academic and athletic successes. We have many Academic Betterment Competition participants and winners, many Quiz Bowl participants and winners, and one of the largest number of Mississippi Scholars a Brookhaven Academy class has ever had.

     The class of 2012 has also excelled tremendously in athletics. We have a state football championship, a state baseball championship, a boys state basketball championship, a girls overall state basketball championship, a slow-pitch softball state championship, back-to-back golf state championships, and multiple boys tennis state championships. As you can see, we manage to do it all: good grades, great athletic accomplishments, and a little fun, too.

     Our times here at Brookhaven Academy will truly never be forgotten. The friendships and memories made will last a lifetime. Saying goodbye to you all will be one of the hardest things I will have to do. No matter where life takes us from here, I wish you all the best in whatever you choose to do and pray that no matter what happens you will never stop chasing your dreams. As Harriet Tubman once said, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars, to change the world.”

     So here’s to us. The Brookhaven Academy Class of 2012.

     Terah Winborne is the valedictorian of the Brookhaven Academy Class of 2012. She is the daughter of Stan and Sandy Winborne.