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ATWOOD (June 4) — West Carroll High School held a special commencement Thursday in the gymnasium for a pair of graduates entering military service prior to the school’s June 18 …
ATWOOD (June 4) — West Carroll High School held a special commencement Thursday in the gymnasium for a pair of graduates entering military service prior to the school’s June 18 graduation.
Class of 2020 Salutatorian Olivia Ann Marie Goostree, who has enlisted in the U.S. Air Force, attended with her parents, Jeromy and Stacey Goostree.
Tennessee Honor Graduate Victoria Ivory Reimann, daughter of Adrian and Melissa Reimann, has already begun her service in the U.S. Navy and was unable to attend. Her diploma was conferred in absentia.
The event began with the traditional processional to “Pomp and Circumstance,” the National Anthem and an invocation by school board member Kyle Foster.
Principal Kelly Todd welcomed the small group of attendees and thanked the two graduates for their “willingness to serve our great country.”
She said, “Even though your last couple of months was interrupted by a global pandemic, you have shown tremendous grit and resilience during this time... Graduation is not an end, but a beginning. The past 12 years is a mere blink of the eye compared to what lies ahead. As you go forward, continue to care. Care about yourself, your family and our country. Always remember that no matter where the road of life takes you, you will always be a War Eagle.”
Goostree then delivered her salutatory address. She thanked everyone for coming and said, “Graduation is meant to be a time when the entire class is together and celebrating our accomplishments, but with everything that is going on in the world, that can’t happen.” She thanked the administration for making the special night possible.
She continued, “With the year 2020, we would have thought we could have seen all of this coming. Apparently, 2020 vision isn’t what it used to be. But in all of this chaos and craziness, it is wonderful and amazing to have something as normal as a graduation, even if it is under not-so-normal circumstances.”
Goostree thanked the faculty for their guidance and for making the students feel special and important, and she thanked the senior parents for their love and support. “None of us would have made it without you.”
To her classmates, she said, “I wish that I could be going to graduation with you, but sadly, that can’t happen. Although I will be in Basic Training, you can be certain I will be thinking of you and all of our other classmates come June 18... Our class has proven our dedication and determination in success. These qualities will continue to drive our lives, and I, for one, believe that the world will be a better place with all of us out in it. I hope that we can all go out into the world with the goal of being a ‘good person.’ We can all chase our dreams, become successful, raise families and do whatever we want while following the Golden Rule of ‘treating others the way we want to be treated.’ This is how our Class of 2020 can make a difference and make the world a better place. We can all do it. I know we can.”
Director of Schools Dexter Williams spoke next, complimenting Goostree and Reimann on choosing to serve and declaring them graduates.
Two teachers then spoke about the two graduates.
Lisa Kapeller spoke about Goostree, calling her a “tough young lady” who is well-balanced, well-grounded and good-hearted. She said, “Who else would you want to protect our country?”
Cyndi Wilbanks called Reimann smart, funny and artistic and “an amazing young lady” with the drive, passion and focus to protect the country.
Diplomas were then conferred to the two. Goostree received hers and then presented a rose to her parents, a West Carroll graduation tradition.
School board president William Robinson gave the benediction to end the ceremony.