By John R. Schirmer
One hundred twenty-seven students received diplomas during Nashville High School graduation ceremonies May 17 at Scrapper Arena.
Honor graduates included the following: Rachel Nicole Dawson, valedictorian, summa cum laude; Jackson Charles Beavert, salutatorian, summa cum laude; Nicholas Tyler Myers, Brooke Ellen Bowden, Kailee Sarah Stinnett, Colton Kane Tipton and Jazmine Shy’Ieil Johnson, all magna cum laude; Adley Hutton Kirchhoff, Brady Andrew Bowden, Taylor Dawn Spigner, Johnathon Robert Morphew, Samuel Evan Dean, Alayna Brooke Morphew, Danielle Vida Jessie and Matilyn Jewell Jamison, all cum laude; Lindsey Nicole Smith, Chas Austin Scott, Bailey Mechelle Walls, Braden Lane Nutt, Jessica Leann Hipp, Karie Junique Porter, Peyton Arron Rather, Tina Ruth Daugherty and Margaret Ann Worthington, honor graduates.
Graduates were Jonathan Thomas Van Kirk, Hailey Jae Allmon, Daniel Almazan, Cristian Anthony Aranda, Shuntay Lanae Ballard, Colleen Nicole Banks, Trenton Lee Beene, Abel Antonio Betancourt, Austin Lee Billings, Kevin Darnell Booher Jr., Kevin Bernard Brazil, Kaitlyn Ariana Burley, Ahyana Heavenly Antonique Burns, Kandy Michelle Bustos, Alexandria Rachelle Cardenas, Jessica Lee Carroll, Jazzmyn Nacole Carver, Matthew Cade Carver, Dale RayShaw Castle, Beonka Shardae Coburn, Jennifer Michelle Cody, Shenia Maria Cody, Mary Kaylyn Cogburn, Robert Lee Conatser, Corey Dewayne Cooper II, Anna Hope Couch, Brendi Joy Cupples, Camille Rose Dale, Sydney Michelle Dean, Cameron Bain Dougan, Matthew Andrew Evans, Cody Cheyenne Ewing, Dalton Lynn Fatherree, David Galvan III.
JaMyric Dewayvn Gamble, Juan Pablo Garcia Anzures, Miranda Michelle Garcia, Rogelio Gastelum, Caleb Andrew Glann, Austin Chase Goodson, Trace Edward Hamilton, William Cade Hardin, Garrett Jonathan Hartness, DeMia DeLois Hendrix, Jairo Francisco Hernandez, Tatyana NaiShay Hillery, Chasity Chantal Holmes, Dillon Charles Honea, Braden James Hood, Troy Edwin Jackson, Jalon Jones, Austin Joel Katzer, Kayla Leigh Kelley, Victoria Nicole Lansdell, Lucas Laine Liggin, Harmony Faith Lofton, Wendy Marisol Lopez, David Martinez, Warren Michael May, Brooklyn Dale Maynard, Daysha Marshay Mays, Kolten Kelly McCracken, Cheyenne Nichole Miller, Lucerito Antonio Morales, Chase Zeland Morgan, Nicholas Kyle Musgrave, Jossely Padron Nunez, Ja’Quasha Renee Ogden.
Cesar Pacheco Martinez, Miguel Alonso Padilla, Ty Justin Parrish, Katie Elizabeth Paul, La’Michael Benard Pettway Jr., Daniel Rauch, Corie Reames, Joshua Dale Reeves, Jonathan Reich, Timya Marnette Sanders, Jacob Austin Reagan-Sage, Brady Andrew Scott, Shadara Ashaylin Scroggins, Summer Carlice Scroggins, Austin Roy Sharp, Tyler Scott Shuffit, Laterykah Monique Smith, Jabin Ray Porter Specks, Kayla Elizabeth Spoo, Frederick Nathaniel Stinson, Matthew Ryan Sube, Justin Allan Summers, Ashley Monique Thomas, Cody James Toups, Thomas Kyler Upton, Stephany Violante, Alexis Bianca Wells, Trey Vaughn Wesson, Dennis Whisenhunt, Courtney Elaine Whitson, LaTrice Ashunti Wiley, Canton Vaughn Wiliams, Trhshonna Rishelle Williams, Slater Christian Wincher and Kiawan Malik Wynn.
Salutatorian Jackson Beavert said that those at graduation has “chased the idea of success – what does it really mean to be successful? I’ve come to realize the definition for this term seems to differ between people.”
Some say success comes from having an ideal job or a fabulous salary, Beavert said. “I have come to realize that oftentimes what appears to the world to be ‘success’ often does not bring happiness. I think the success that brings true happiness depends upon having three things: faith, love and passion.”
Beavert said faith is necessary “because we never know what life has in store for us. There are storms in life we won’t see coming. For example, a storm recently came through our town and changed the lives of some forever. A solid faith will see us through those storms and give us strength to endure.”
Next, Beavert urged his classmates to “focus on love for our families and for others. I am amazed at how much love and support the community has shown to people affected by the storm.”
Also, Beavert said, “We must have passion in our lives. All of us have special skills and talents. Wherever we go in the near future, each of us must find a passion for something in our lives that fulfills us and challenges us to excel and become better people and better citizens.”
Valedictorian Rachel Dawson shared lessons from Winnie the Pooh in her address. For example, he said on one occasion, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
“Who would’ve thought that Winnie the Pooh could teach us so many life lessons? His words aren’t just silly sayings, but inspirations to each and every one of us. Like when he says, ‘We will be friends forever, just you wait and see’ gives me hope for the future of our class,” Dawson said.
‘When he shares that ‘You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think,’ lets me know that the Class of 2015 has hope and will have success.”
Dawson used various characters to thank those who helped her reach her goals, including her parents Karen and Billy Dawson, her brother Luke, her teachers, friends, the community of Nashville and her “author and creator, Jesus Christ. Thank you for never giving up on me, and dying when you didn’t have to.”
Dawson said that when she was in the third grade, she attended her first Nashville High School graduation. “It was that night that I set a goal for myself that I would be the one to stand in front of my classmates and be the one to say, ‘Congratulations. We did it.’ So 10 graduations later, I am honored to stand here in front of each and every one of you and say, ‘Nashville High School Class of 2015, we did it.
“This is not the end for us, but only a new beginning. This is not a goodbye. This is, as Tigger would say, a TTFN, ‘Ta Ta For Now.’”
Other students who spoke during the program include Austin Sharp, invocation; Brooke Bowden, welcome; Lucy Morales, welcome in Spanish; and Karie Porter, benediction.
Biology teacher and Coach Brian Bearden delivered the faculty charge to the graduates. “Graduation is more a transition, like mitosis. That’s a science thing,” he said.
Bearden called his address “Coach Bearden’s random thoughts about life while riding on a lawnmower.”
He wrapped up his comments by reminding the students that, “Today is a gift. That’s why it’s called the present. We’ve enjoyed you. We love you. We will miss you.”
Counselor Crystal Evans reviewed the graduates’ scholarships, which totaled more than $2.2 million.