Under the warm South Georgia sun, 392 seniors walked across the stage at Brodie Field Saturday and became official graduates of Tift County High School. The event was full of emotion and celebration.
“This is such a fantastic day for everyone – the students, their families and the faculty and staff who have been a part of this educational journey,” said Patrick Atwater, superintendent. “I’ve been lucky to work in the Tift County School System for 23 years, and this day is always a highlight of the year.”
While more offers are still coming and decisions being made, what the Class of 2014 has already accomplished is impressive.
“Many of our students took full advantage of what a public school can offer,” said TCHS Principal Kim Seigler. “Totals are still coming in, but the class has already earned nearly $1 million in scholarships, not including HOPE. We have graduates going to college all over the nation, including the Ivy League, into all branches of the military and some right into the work force.”
As of Saturday, colleges and universities that TCHS students had committed to include: Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College, Albany Tech, Auburn University, Berry College, Brown University, Darton State College, Eastern New Mexico University, Emory University, Florida Southern, Fort Valley State University, Georgia College and State University, Georgia Southern University, Georgia Tech, Gulf Coast, Hawaii Pacific University, Johnson and Wales University, Kennesaw State University, LaGrange College, Mercer University, Oglethorpe University, Polk State, Reinhardt University, Savannah State University, The Art Institute, The Culinary Institute of America, Toccoa Falls College, Truett-McConnell College, Tuskegee University, University of Florida, University of Georgia, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, University of Mobile, Valdosta State University and Young Harris College.
In addition to academic, athletic and other extra-curricular accomplishments, volunteerism was also highlighted. The class logged more than 9,000 volunteer hours.
“That’s one thing we hope all students take away from their high school career,” Seigler said. “Yes, grades are important, but the ultimate goal for us is to see our kids become adults who succeed and give back to the community.”
The faculty, staff, superintendent and Board of Education members are especially thankful for the involved parents who supported their students and were involved in their children’s education.