Loyd Star celebrates graduation of 51 Hornets

Published 7:34 pm Friday, May 17, 2024

LOYD STAR — The 2024 graduating class at Loyd Star is 51 strong. Students received their diplomas and celebrated the start of their next chapter Friday evening. 

Principal Seth Lofton’s first year as principal was made easier by the leadership of this class. He thanked them after welcoming everyone to Loyd Star. 

“I appreciate your leadership on campus. I’ll always remember that, it will stick with me,” Lofton said. “I took the time today to average the grade point average of their class. It is a 92.6. That is outstanding.”

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Hornet senior Xander Ludlow was the salutatorian Friday night. He first thanked his parents for supporting him and his teachers with a round of applause. 

Ludlow recognized the past few years have been difficult. The group has learned a lot while growing up a lot in high school. Friends have made the biggest difference in those years. 

He said friends could take many forms but they all have one thing in common. 

“They have supported us. Life is hard but it was worth it,” Ludlow said. “I don’t know about all of you but my friends have made me desire to do my best every day at school. One thing I love about Loyd Star is how kind and caring the people here are.” 

He explained he first moved to Loyd Star in second grade. His first day at school he sat at the lunch table, all by himself and people noticed. They came and sat with him in second grade and Friday they graduated together. 

“They made sure not a single person was left out. You guys inspire me,” Ludlow said, turning to his friends. 

He spoke about the changes from kindergarten to seventh grade when they were able to start branching out and play sports or participate in band. By ninth grade they were able to finally get to high school. 

“Football games we could enjoy. I enjoyed playing with the band and in the stands. I’ll miss it,” Ludlow said. “In the blink of an eye we had this year. Cherish these memories and remember education must never stop. Enjoy what you do and keep learning after today.” 

Abby Burnette stepped to the microphone as the valedictorian. She will go on to play softball in college after leading the Hornets in soccer and in softball. 

She reminded her classmates to take pride in how far they have come. 

“This is the limit for high school and we made it here,” Burnette said. “We battled through COVID. My first year was COVID and I didn’t meet half of the school until halfway through the year. It brought so many friends and it brought so many lessons.” 

Some of high school’s best lessons came from teachers and coaches. Burnette said Scott Leggett, Stacey Britt and Jordan Lea all taught her well. 

Britt is “the smartest and kindest person I know,” Burnette said. She added that he made sure his players knew how to have a relationship with God. He would also remind them about how they were all related in one way or another. 

“I’ve never had coaches who loved me like they did. They wanted us to succeed,” Burnette said. “I know I can do anything in life now. I’ve only had one person who wanted to know every single detail better than coach Scott and that was his own son Knox. Lea showed us how to give our all in everything we do. These are the people who made the journey worth it.” 

Burnette said her parents were in her corner and she was very thankful for that. 

She pointed to her faith as another way she was able to make it this far in life. God will continue to guide her in the next chapter too. 

“This chapter is over but I believe God has a plan for us and it doesn’t end in high school,” Burnette said. “If we have faith we can do anything we set our hearts to. No one can know what the future holds but we have to work as hard as we can. Proverbs 3 5-6 says ‘Trust in the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding.’ If we trust in God everything will work out. Loyd Star has brought me so many amazing memories. How lucky am I to have something so great that makes saying goodbye so hard.” 

Check back tomorrow for a full gallery.