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June 12, 2014

Bishop Hall conducts spring commencement

THOMASVILLE — Twenty students received high school diplomas at Bishop Hall Charter School commencement exercises for the spring graduating class of 2014.

Conducted at the Thomas County Schools Auditorium, the ceremony was dedicated to Jim Sickler, a founding member of the Bishop Hall faculty, who passed away in May after waging a serious medical battle. The audience celebrated his life and accomplishments with a raucous standing ovation.

The graduation ceremony was hosted by the Thomas County superintendent of schools, Dr. Dusty Kornegay.

A moving invocation was delivered by Bishop Hall graduating senior, Esther Means, who quoted Psalms 27:1-14 (KJV), “ …Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart ... ”

Tavaris Virgil, also a graduating senior, led the pledge to the flag.

Several students were singled out for recognition.

Means received the $500 NAACP (Sadie Gibson) Award and the $500 Women’s Forum Scholarship.

Taylor Fillmore received the $500 NAACP (Archbold) Award, the $300 Aquarius Club Award, and the $500 Lambda Xi Omega Chapter of the AKA Sorority Inc. Award.

Gabrielle Fleno also received a $500 Award from the same organization.

Carlos Ortiz received the $100 student laureate award.

Keisley Segura received the $1,000 Thomasville Antiques Show Foundation Scholarship.

Means, Fillmore, Carlos Ortiz, Courtney Arnold, Matt Carroll, Katie Richards and Jordan Spense received honor cords for maintaining at least a 3.0 grade point average for their high school career.

Thirteen grads received awards for participating in Bishop Hall’s S.T.E.P. (Students Taking Education Positively) program. The students  have spent the school year helping Head Start pre-schoolers develop pre-reading and reading skills and have worked as classroom assistants to Scott, Garrison-Pilcher and Harper elementary teachers under the direction of Verna Wiggins, Bishop Hall guidance counselor/graduation coach, Marcus Parsley, Debra Bryant and Jeremy Rich, all teachers at Bishop Hall.

Fourteen students received honor cords from Southwest Georgia Technical College, signifying completion of dual-enrollment coursework completed on the SWGTC campus.

Kornegay, prior to accepting the graduating class, paid homage to the three educators who were retiring after graduation: Rich Johnson, Lana Hicks and Dr. Doug Haydel, all of whom played founding roles in the establishment of Bishop Hall more than 15 years ago.

Senior farewells were delivered by Sky Carter and Keisley Segura. Carter thanked the Bishop Hall staff and Kornegay for providing the non-traditional opportunity to complete her journey to graduation. Sky related her personal transformation from a high school student to an adult committed to having an impact on a world that is desperately in need of change.

She said, “ ... People, I’ve realized this past year that we don’t have to be just numbers. We don’t have to be little specs on this big earth forever. We can make a difference, but the choice is ours.”

The keynote speaker for this semester’s ceremony, graduating senior Keisley Segura, paid tribute to each teacher on stage.

She talked about the experiential field trips, senior projects and community service projects in which they all participated.

Keisley closed with a quote from Natasha Bedingfield, “ …Today is where your book begins, the rest is still unwritten ...”

Segura led fellow graduates in reciting the Bishop Hall creed: “The choices we make dictate the lives we lead.”

 

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