• 61°

Troup seniors cross the stage

It was finally their time to shine.

After four years and then some of enduring classes, studying, tutoring and all that high school entails, 293 Troup High School seniors took to the stage to receive their diplomas Friday morning.

Class president Sarah Batchelor said no one will ever be able to forget their senior year at THS.

“We will be able to remember what we had, and not what we lost,” Batchelor said. “We made memories that will last a lifetime. Like cheering, dressing up for spirit week and supporting our Tigers. It wasn’t long ago that we were ready to start our new life, life after high school. Even though this year did not end like we thought it would. We have a purpose for encountering the events that this year brought us.”

Batchelor reminded the Tigers that this isn’t the first time the 2020 class was in the midst of a traumatic event.

“The class of 2020 was born during a time of tragedy with Sept. 11, 2001,” Batchelor said. “But in the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson, ‘what lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.’ Our class will always have an interesting story to tell. And we will continue to grow so much stronger because of this challenge.”

STAR Student Todd Sandiford said even though the class didn’t know if they were going to make it through the year or get a graduation, they still made it.

“But we are here,” Sandiford said. “Here with a different set of memories, here with an altered appreciation of what is important. Hopefully, here with a new view of our place in the world.”

Sandiford said in all of Troup High School’s years, the class of 2020 may be the readiest class to take on the world post-graduation.

“We are resilient. We are resourceful,” Sandiford said.

“This day with all of its formal celebrations and emotional reflections isn’t the pinnacle of our achievements. I encourage you, class of 2020, let today be only a plateau. Let it be a stopping point, a resting point, but only for a brief time before you start climbing higher, learning and achieving more.”

Valedictorian Collin Sanders said he was asked to talk about the future and give a speech about moving forward for Friday’s graduation.

He said they can’t do that without looking back at the past.

“If you’re like me, you’ve looked forward to your senior year since first entering the doors of Troup High,” Sanders said. “We waited our turn. We worked hard. We planned. And we imagined a senior year with skip days, pranks and senioritis. But never in our wildest dreams would we foresee 50 skip days and living the last month of our senior yea, like an extended version of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.”

Sanders commended the class for taking the rest of senior year by the reigns and rolling with the punches.

“Senior year wasn’t the year we imagined, but it was the year we got, and we’ve accepted that because we’ve grown,” Sanders said.

“We’ve learned, and we understand that we have a special purpose in this life. We’ve made history, and we’ve made some incredible memories.”