Dora grads say goodbye to home

By Karl Terry: PNT Managing Editor

Seniors at Dora High School’s commencement Sunday were reminded by more than one speaker that they would always be able to call Dora High School home. With that promise, 15 graduates received their diplomas and embarked on their next life journey — away from the halls of DHS.

“Remember where you’re from — you’ll always be welcome here,” Dora Superintendent of Schools Steve Barron said just before presenting the graduates. “Make good choices.”

Salutatorian Ben Massey opened things from the podium with laughter as he told jokes through most of his address. He ended by thanking his classmates for being good friends, thanking Jesus for being his best friend and urging others to get to know Christ.

Valedictorian duties were shared by Kelsey McKinney and Jennifer Davis.

“We feel like we’re leaving our home,” summed up McKinney. “I’m grateful I had a home here at Dora High School.”

Davis expressed her appreciation for her classmates and talked about the closeness she had felt to them and all the students and faculty at DHS.

“I want you to know I love you and care for you,” Davis said. “I’m proud to be a part of the class of 2006.”

The class invited DHS teacher and coach Ty Thatcher to be guest speaker at the graduation. Thatcher told the class that they didn’t have to know what they were going to do in their lives at their high school graduation. He said they did need to know what they liked and what was important to their family.

“The people you are sitting with today are your family,” Thatcher said. “They’ll always be there for you.”

While the graduates were serious throughout most of the commencement and a few tears had to be dabbed from time to time, there were plenty of light moments. As the ceremony ended, the students began to celebrate, spraying their classmates with canned string. Graduate Yancy Swift removed his gown to the cheers of the crowd revealing the get-up underneath: knee-high leather moccasins and a Scottish kilt.

“I wanted a good memory for graduation,” Swift said of his apparel. “One of my friends had it lying around and it caught my eye. I’m feeling very comfortable.”

Graduate Tina Walker said what she would take with her from her time at DHS were the good friends.

“I feel great right now,” Walker said.

Rustin Lancaster, a DHS graduate who plans to become a welder, was relieved to be out of high school.

“I’m just happy to get done,” Lancaster said.

Lancaster said he would remember all the fun times he had with friends and the stupid stuff they had done.

“It’s wonderful, it’s a blast,” said graduate Jonathan Mignard, who plans to join the Marines. “I’m ready for it.”