Outstanding local youths who graduated from local high schools in the Class of 2009 will take to the stage on Saturday to help kick off the annual Sweet Land of Liberty Parade.
The youth parade - the 25th since the event began in 1985 - is set for 10 a.m. in downtown LaGrange. Marchers will assemble at Boyd Park. Registration begins at 8:30 with judging set for 9 a.m. Participation is free and open to all young people 19 and under. No motorized vehicles are allowed.
The parade will follow its traditional route down Church Street to Lafayette Square. Alton West, economic development director for the city of LaGrange, is grand marshal, and the parade theme is “Red, white and blue go green.”
The honored students were chosen by officials at their schools and representatives from the Junior Service League, which coordinates the parade.
“Having outstanding young people lead the parade is a tradition that dates to the early years when Annette Boyd founded the parade,” said Marianna Wilson, parade chairman. “It’s one of the things that makes each parade memorable.”
They 2009 honorees include:
Chelsea Grace Brown, daughter of Debra Brown and Mark Brown, recently graduated magna cum laude from Callaway High School. Her activities included National Honor Society, Student Council, Boy Scouts of America, and Key Club, as well as secretary for Student Council and National Honor Society. Honors included the Young American Award presented by the Boy Scouts of America. She plans to attend graduate school at Auburn Veterinary University and plans to open a practice in Troup County.
Susanna Cipolla, daughter of John and Marianna Cipolla, graduated from Lafayette Christian School, where she was involved in Key Club, Student Council, chorus and piano for church’s youth group. Her accomplishments include student of the year and valedictorian. She plans to attend North Georgia College and State University, where she plans to study early childhood education.
Corley Major, daughter of Paul and Katie Major, graduated from LaGrange Academy. Her activities include horse competitions, cheerleading and church activities. Accomplishments include the Daughers of the American Revolution Good Citizen award, Troup County Youth Leadership graduate and runner-up for state of Georgia in America’s Homecoming Queen pageant. She plans to attend David Lipscomb University in the fall, where she will pursue a career in medicine.
Carol Jabaley, daughter of Rocky and Cindy Jabaley, is a graduate of LaGrange High School, where she was involved in Phi Delta Chi Service Club; head student athletic trainer for football, baseball and soccer; Girl Scouts of America; section editor on the yearbook staff; treasurer and vice president of the Foreign Language Club; president of Soccer Sweeties; Diamond Dolls; Miss Congeniality; St. Peter’s Catholic Church Youth Leadership and Parish Council; Junior Volunteer in Neonatal Unit at West Georgia Health System; Camp Christian Counselor; Yolanda K. Jabaley Clothing Center volunteer, and LaGrange Red Cross blood drive volunteer. She plans to attend Georgia Southern University to major in sports medicine and athletic training.
Rebeccah Henderson, daughter of Bubba and Jill Henderson, is a magna cum laude graduate of Troup High School, where she was president of National Honor Society, president of Thespian Society, and secretary of Anchor Club. She was named Ms. Troup High for the 2008-09 school year, and has been on the youth leadership team at First Presbyterian Church for three years. She plans to attend Columbus State University to major in theatre education. After college, she plans on performing and teaching children with disabilities.