Reading Nook celebrates nine graduates

Published 8:56 pm Thursday, May 9, 2024

BROOKHAVEN — Guests celebrating the Reading Nook Academy’s 2024 graduating class filled the cafeteria and left it standing room only Thursday afternoon. Nine seniors moved their tassels and stepped into the next chapter of life after receiving their diplomas. 

Graduates include David Clanton, Laren Day, Alexander Dumas, Cody Hoeniges, Taylor Hutchinson, Brayden Lewis, Macy Lofton, Jackson Smith and Daniel Tarver.

Reading Nook Academy’s Founder Millie Porter celebrated the life of Bubba Jordan at the conclusion of the ceremony by presenting the first scholarship in his honor. Jordan, a 2023 Reading Nook graduate, was killed in a propane explosion in January along with three others. 

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Porter described Jordan as a student who looked forward to finishing school and getting to work. He worked as a boilermaker after high school until the fatal accident. 

“Bubba was a momma’s boy and wanted to make her proud. He was caring and willing to do whatever anyone needed him to do,” Porter said. “Bubba would want nothing less than to help someone wanting to work and not further their education in college.” 

Porter invited Mitzi Jordan to present the Bubba Jordan Memorial Scholarship, named after Mitzi’s son. Jackson Smith was the inaugural recipient. 

Warm welcome

Douglas Kimble, a member of the Reading Nook board, welcomed everyone in attendance with a soft, warm smile and his humor. He thanked everyone for not only attending but allowing the Reading Nook to work with the young women and men graduating. 

“Thank you for allowing the Reading Nook to educate your young people and love them and bring them to a place where the classes are relatively small,” Kimble said. “We turn them over to a big world. Our prayers are with them and with you. They are prayers of gratitude for everyone who supports these young people. Thank you for supporting our mission.” 

Words to live by

Porter gave a brief commencement speech to the graduating class. She said she knows their hearts and knows their futures will be bright. 

“I want to leave you with some good characteristics of being a good steward. Each of you should use whichever gift you have,” Porter said. “No matter what the world says, you have a gift, you have purpose and you are a good steward. Have confidence in what you will do and you will be successful.”

She challenged the students to have humility and to help the weak. Graduates were reminded to trust and that trust can be earned, received and expected. Trust will be important when they reach the challenges of college and adulthood. “Trust in God, he will carry you through,” she said. 

Forgiveness of others was another characteristic of a good steward. So is obedience. 

“Forgive people. A good steward knows we are human and we are to take care of those we are close to,” Porter said. “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart. Obedience is the most important thing. People are looking up and at you. You are loved, important and successful. We are so proud of each of you. I’m proud to say I had a part in helping you grow.”