Therrell and Westlake Valedictorians Are Shining Stars
Top Cascade students share future plans and graduation speeches with Patch.
Two Cascade Patch high schools – Therrell High and Westlake High – held graduation ceremonies Fri., May 27th.
Therrell High School gathered at 6:00 p.m. at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center in Midtown to honor its graduating seniors. Each of Therrell's three academies – the School of Law, the School of Engineering, and the School of Health Sciences and Research – had a valedictorian and salutatorian.
Westlake High School held its ceremony at 4:00 p.m. at the Georgia Dome in downtown Atlanta.
Some of the valedictorians and salutatorians from these schools shared their future plans and graduation speeches with Cascade Patch.
THERRELL HIGH SCHOOL
The School of Law and Government's top two graduates are Courtney Skipper and Tanzia Heath.
Courtney, the class Valedictorian, enjoys playing volleyball. She will attend the University of Georgia on a full scholarship, and plans on studying business and marketing.
Courtney spoke about tenacity and encouraged others to never allow their surroundings to determine their destiny:
My parents have always instilled in me to do my best. Experience has shown that accomplishing this feat is easier said than done. I have learned that life will present many hardships and challenges, but through tenacity and perseverance any goal may be accomplished!
Neasha Mithcell is the Valedictorian for the School of Health Sciences and Research. She will study law and business at the University of Georgia. Corporate law is her future career goal.
The theme of Neasha's speech was determination:
We must now venture out and begin a new chapter in our lives. The coming years will be a challenge for us. Of course we may endure setbacks in life but I know that our victories will far outweigh any obstacles that we may encounter. As true Therrell Panthers, we will remain strong and always hold our heads high. Remember in the words of the famous politician, Sir Winston Churchill, “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”
Crystal Jessie is the School of Public Health's Salutatorian. She will stay close to home and study biological sciences at Clayton State University. She spoke about tolerance at Friday's graduation:
To the class of 2011, just remember that when life gets hard and you are faced with many challenges just be patient, understanding, and persevere. In doing so, you will not only mater the art of being tolerant, you will be one step closer to achieving greatness.
Rickey Lipsey earned the highest GPA in the School of Engineering. Howard University will be his future home, where he plans on majoring in Finance with a concentration in actuarial science. Beyond the Horizon to Greatness is the title of his speech.
LeAnna Robinson is the School of Engineering's Salutatorian. Biology is her intended major as she starts Georgia State University in the fall.
LeAnna's speech focused on vitality:
To my fellow classmates, I salute you. Together, we have struggled through, and overcome the pitfalls that lay on this road to graduation. However, we must not consider this graduation to be the finish line, but rather a pit stop, a mere resting point, on our continued journey toward success. On this journey we will encounter several challenges-challenges that will demand of us, our perseverance, our ingenuity and our VITALITY, which is our capacity for survival, continued life and growth. Author F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “Vitality shows not only the ability to persist but the ability to start over.”
WESTLAKE HIGH SCHOOL
Monae Fennell and Darshna Patel are the 2010-11 Valedictorian and Salutatorian respectively of Westlake High School.
Monae has already devised detailed future career plans. “I would like to become an OB/GYN and research the prevalent fibroid growth in black women in America,” she said with noticeable seriousness.
Monae will pursue her interests at Spelman College. She charges her class to, in all things, expect greatness – basing her speech on the inspirational gospel song, Expect The Great by Jonathan Nelson:
WE must expect the great to occur in each endeavor that we pursue. Whether we become politicians, songwriters, authors, doctors or athletes, we must expect the great from one another. I challenge you to expect greatness from each of your peers and to encourage one another to continue to do great things and lift others like we have been lifted. WE must not only challenge others, but challenge ourselves to loose the negative halls of our past and embrace the positive greatness that is our future. We must give each other encouragement to persevere through the trying times that will come and to celebrate the glorious times that we will have. This is our year and our moment is now, so in all that we do we must BE GREAT, DO GREAT THINGS, LIFT OTHERS TO GREATNESS AND ALWAYS EXPECT the GREAT TO HAPPEN AND IT WILL. God bless you and all who proudly represent Westlake High School