Class of 2010 graduates 344

Published 12:02 am Saturday, May 22, 2010

New ground was broken and history repeated itself Friday during this year’s Bainbridge High School commencement ceremony as the Class of 2010 graduated before a large crowd at Centennial Field.

The Class of 2010 marks the first class to graduate from the new Bainbridge High School, and the naming of Edward Griffin Reynolds as the Earl Carr Gragg Award winner marks three generations a member of his family received it.

Valedictorian Erick Juarez asked his fellow seniors to recognize the family, friends and teachers who had supported them in their academic efforts through the years through applause and cheers.

Email newsletter signup

He then addressed his parents, who immigrated to the United States from Mexico, by speaking in Spanish, before translating his words to the audience into English.

“I give you much thanks for your love and support and for helping me grow into a mighty tree.”

Juarez said the Class of 2010 has many accomplishments to be proud of.

“The Class of 2010 has put Bainbridge, Georgia, on the map and has ushered Bainbridge High into a new era of excellence and hope,” Juarez said.

He also quoted Paschal Ward, the director of bands, and his version of the Success Family: “The father of Success is Work; the mother is Ambition … and the baby is Opportunity.” Juarez said, with other “member of the family” being perseverance, honesty, character, loyalty and so forth. “Get acquainted with the ‘old man’ and you will be able to get along pretty well with the rest of the family.”

He asked his classmates to strive for success and seize opportunity, to reach for their dreams.


Salutatorian Sunnie Chason began her speech by giving her classmates of “do not forget,” no matter where their path through life takes them.

“Do not forget your family,” she said, citing her family as her “heart and soul” and her “guiding light.”

“Do not forget your friends,” she continued. She said friends have given her countless memories and added that “good friends [are] hard to find and even harder to replace.”

“Do not forget BHS … Although after tonight we will no longer be students of BHS, it will forever be our alma mater; it is the common link that connects us all.”

Don’t forget the faculty and staff of Decatur County schools, who she said set up the foundation for the graduates’ futures to rest upon.

Don’t forget Bainbridge and its small-town southern charm, she said.

Finally, Chason closed with a saying of “You have to know where you have been to know where you are going,” before wishing her classmates good luck.

Senior Speech

Kylie McGlincy, focusing her Senior Speech on the theme of “Beginnings,” recalled how she felt starting out in elementary school, middle school and high school.

McGlincy said the senior class of 2010 had a second high school beginning of sorts, thanks to the opening of the new Bainbridge High School last fall. She spoke with pride about the special meaning for this year’s senior.

“Not only are we the beginning of a new decade of students, we can proudly say that we are the first graduating class of the new Bainbridge High School. Other classes have come and gone, but our class will be recorded in the history books.”

Finally, McGlincy quoted U.S. Sen. Orrin Hatch, who said that graduation was not an ending, but rather another beginning.

“In a few moments, you will walk across this field and receive your high school diploma. This is the end of your public education. Now, how will you begin…the rest of your life?”

Senior Class President

Senior Class President Charelle Barber centered her speech around something her mom told her when she was just 3 years old and starting her first day of preschool: “Be good.”

“As I have grown older, I have come to realize that ‘being good’ not only describes a state of behavior, but [it] also describes your physical, emotional and mental well-being.”

Barber told her classmates they would likely encounter difficulty obtaining the “good life” they wanted, as well as facing challenges in college or in the workforce. She asked her classmates to accept that life can be hard and work to make life better, in part by striving to make good choices in every situation. She closed her speech by reading a poem that encouraged her fellow seniors to persevere in the face of obstacles, to “give the world the best [they] have.”

The program

Chace Vaughn gave the moment of quiet reflection prior to the Air Force JROTC cadets’ presentation of the flags and the Pledge of Allegiance, which was led by Audrey Runnels.

The National Anthem was played by senior band members.

Jordan Maxwell welcomed all in attendance.

Carly Brock and Fernando Galnares presented the honor graduates.

Mary Grace Reynolds read the senior poem.

Senior choral members performed the musical selection “Man in the Mirror,” originally performed by Michael Jackson.

Bobby Forrester performed a trumpet solo, while the Senior Choral Ensemble led singing of the BHS alma mater, “The Purple and Gold” at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Top awards

Prior to the speeches and presentation of the diplomas, Griffin Reynolds received the Earl Carr Gragg Award, and Allison Faith Howard received the Mary Davis Pilot Club Award.

Reynolds’ receiving the award marks the third generation of a Reynolds receiving the Earl Carr Gragg Award. Griffin Reynolds’ father, Mayor Edward Reynolds received it in 1982 and the late Bill Reynolds received the same award in 1953.

Selections are determined on the basis of that young man and young lady in the senior class who come nearest to showing the right spirit and good attitude; who lead clean lives; who apply themselves and try to do the best they can; and who stand for the fine and high things in life.

The awards are named after two victims of the 1946 Winecoff Hotel fire. Gragg was a BHS student and Davis was a BHS teacher.