Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County High School said goodbye to the class of 2017 today as 131 students received their diploma. Makenzie Daniels, also a WKU Gatton Academy graduate, was named valedictorian. She finished with a 4.7 GPA and 60 hours of college credit. She's the daughter of Matt and Lysette Daniels of Chalybeate.
Cierra Woodcock, daughter of Jason and Carey Woodcock of Bee Spring, was named salutatorian. She finished with a 4.54 GPA and 39 hours of college credit.
Edmonson County received over $1.67 million in scholarships and awards, the third highest in school history, according to senior guidance counselor Michael Meredith. The school also boasted 29 students with a 4.0 GPA or higher during their four years at ECHS. The school also averaged the highest ACT score in school history.
In Makenzie's address to her senior class, she encouraged her fellow graduates to use courage, perseverance, integrity, and compassion. "I challenge my class of 2017 to step up and become the change each of us wants to see in the world," she said. She thanked her family, her educators, and her classmates for helping her along the way. "Above all, I want to thank God for the many blessings that I've been given today, and the opportunity to stand before you."
Cierra Woodcock's address to her class echoed many of the same sentiments. "I would like to encourage all of you to live your lives to the fullest," she said with a smile. "Don't grow up too fast, and don't wish your life away wanting to be older. Slow down, live in the moment and enjoy what is going on around you. Before you know it, the moment will be gone and it will be nothing but a memory."
Perfect attendance awards were given to Tyler Huber who had not missed a single day in all four years of high school, Jacob Simpson, who had perfect attendance in grade 12, and Nathanael Wilson, who was present everyday during 11th and 12th grade.
The school also recognized 43 honor students which had a 3.4 GPA or higher over the course of their four years at ECHS. The ceremony ended with Principal Tommy Hodges dismissing the class of 2017 as students tossed their caps into the air.
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