Record Number of Students Celebrated at Academic Banquet

By Jessica Vaughn/ jessica@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 5/15/17

FOLEY - Foley High School had a lot to celebrate Thursday, May 11, when the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce hosted the 60th annual banquet celebrating academic excellence. This year, 43 students …

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Record Number of Students Celebrated at Academic Banquet

Posted

FOLEY - Foley High School had a lot to celebrate Thursday, May 11, when the South Baldwin Chamber of Commerce hosted the 60th annual banquet celebrating academic excellence. This year, 43 students are graduating with the highest diploma – “Alabama High School Diploma, Baldwin County college preparatory with distinction endorsement.” Since the South Baldwin Chamber has been tracking the graduates, this is a record breaking number of students to graduate with the highest honors during the same school year.

The celebration was held at the Foley United Methodist Church, and was attended by Foley’s Mayor Koniar and Magnolia Springs’ Mayor Holk, along with proud parents and family members who were there supporting their senior.

“Each year it’s amazing how outstanding the students are, what you parents send to us,” said Principal Russ Moore of Foley High School. “We get the pleasure of working with these students, so thank you.”

Principal Moore also had the honor of welcoming Shastady Bridges, 2017 Foley High School Teacher of the Year, to the podium.

“I praise her for her flexibility and her desire to do what’s best for the students,” Principal Moore said of Mrs. Bridges. “She’s always one to volunteer and work with the kids who are struggling the most, while at the same time she’s also working with the best of the best. She does everything, she wears every hat.”

Mrs. Bridges had the chance to address the students personally, giving them praise and advice for the future as they head off to college.

“The experience teaching here has helped me grow personally and professionally,” Bridges said, “and I would not be where I am today without these fellow teachers who taught me, who mentored me, who encouraged me, and who pushed me to do my best every day. I’m surrounded by teachers who challenged me to give one-hundred percent, who pushed me to get out of my comfort zone, who encouraged me to be my best for my students. These are the same teachers who have pushed you to do your best, who have encouraged you when it got hard and gave you the support you needed along the way… On Tuesday night, each of you will walk across the field at Ivan Jones Stadium and become alumni of Foley High School. Go Foley, go Lions!”

She finished her speech with a rally of support for the seniors, wishing them luck and thanking their parents for the work that they do.

“Know your biggest cheerleaders are your parents and your former teachers,” Bridges told the seniors. “The adventures you’re going to take are not going to be easy, but you’re going to have to find your way, and to overcome the obstacles that life throws at you. If you fall down, get back up stronger and more eager to accomplish your goals. You can do anything you put your mind to. Chase your dreams and goals. Ask for advice from those who are older than you, and know that you are never standing alone.”

The seniors were given the opportunity to state their name, which college they had chosen to go to or what they had chosen to do after high school, and what degree and career they were interested in pursuing. They were then given medals to acknowledge their outstanding academic achievements. After the last student had received their medal, the seniors were met with a standing ovation and applause from the audience.

They were the stars of the night, and with bright futures ahead of them they will begin their journey on May 16, when Foley High School graduation takes place.