Callaway graduates just over 200

Published 6:37 pm Friday, May 26, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

The commencement exercises for the Callaway High School Class of 2023 were held Thursday night at Callaway Stadium to a packed crowd. Just over 200 seniors graduated.

A total of 202 Cavaliers received their well-earned diplomas and earned their right to walk across the stage in front of their family, friends and loved ones.

Callaway salutatorian Calia Kiera Williams spoke of the roller coaster ride her class experienced to get to graduation day. The class had its highs and joys along with struggles and sadness, which they ultimately overcame to become graduates.

“These past four years have been a roller coaster, a very rocky and old one at that. But I’m honored to have ridden this ride with you all,” Williams said.

Like many seniors across the country, Williams said they were just getting used to high school as second-semester freshmen when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

“On Friday the 13th as we were released from school at 3:20 p.m., though we thought we will be returning the following Monday, that wasn’t the case. What started out as a week, turn into two, then a month, then sadly five. What we thought was a passover turned out to be one of the most tragic events of our lives,” Williams said.

With the pandemic came new responsibilities and a switch to virtual learning without teachers pushing them to get to class, Williams said.

“School was simply not the same. However, here we are four years later all dressed with our cap and gowns,” she said. “Be proud of yourselves because this is major. Not everyone who started this journey with us and ended it with us. Let’s remember our classmates who are gone away so soon and take some time to whisper congratulations to them as well.”

A moment of silence was held for classmate Laquan Dewberry who was killed in June 2022 and for longtime Hogansville High and Callaway High Coach Tray Tucker who also passed away last year. Ribbons were placed on seats where they might have sat if not for their tragic passing.

Valedictorian Amoria Xevonne McFarlin said she is still in disbelief that she finished as valedictorian but she is proud to be a part of the Callaway Class of 2023 and to represent them as class president.

“You all are so full of potential and greatness that I know you’ll achieve. Graduating is a bittersweet moment for all of us, so wipe your tears,” McFarlin said. “To begin something new, you must sacrifice something old. This means in order for us to grow and reach our full potential in life, we must look forward and never backwards.”

“The journey ahead of you is not going to be easy. But it is crucial and I mean extremely crucial to never give up on yourself,” McFarlin said. “As a final goodbye to our high school journey, I feel as if it will be cruel if I did not inspire you to change the world, uplift others and always be Callaway.”