STANFORD — Principal Tim Godbey promised he wouldn’t cry — and he didn’t — but his voice was filled with emotion when he told Lincoln County High School’s Class of 2012 that they hold a special place in his heart.
Speaking to students in the school cafeteria as they prepared for Friday night’s graduation ceremony, Godbey reminded the seniors they were freshman when he began as principal four years ago.
“We walked in that door the first time together,” he said. “You guys are my class. For four years, you’ve made me proud.”
Noting that poor academic performance in recent years caused state education officials to intervene earlier this year, Godbey said this bunch of seniors has helped to right the ship. He said ACT scores are up, and more than 50 percent of the class is state-certified as college and career-ready.
“You are going to be the class that got this rolling,” he said, earning a standing ovation.
The emotion carried over to the packed gymnasium, where the first speaker, class president Chloe Whitaker, was so choked up she could barely get her words out.
“In a few moments, we will be alumni of Lincoln County High School,” Whitaker struggled to begin. Rousing cheers from her classmates encouraged her to hold steady and she finished strong.
“This is our time, so enjoy every moment and as we part, the last thing I want to leave you with is: Be different and live to make a difference.”
Valedictorian Amanda Conway echoed Godbey’s earlier comments in her speech to the graduating Patriots.
“This group has been through some dark tunnels, but as our time here progressed we began to come together as a strong class,” Conway said. “As upperclassmen we seized the role of leadership and contributed to the growing sense of patriotism in these halls. Through those contributions we have broke the mold and exhibited pride.”
In her brief remarks, salutatorian Taylor Fisher spoke of their collective journey from freshman year to caps and gowns.
“We have gone from wearing holes in our jeans to not being able to show any lines or mounds,” Fisher said. “The next time we walk out of this building, we will no longer be high school students ... Starting now, the strongest things that guide us are what we took from high school and the morals that we have.”
The Lincoln County High School Class of 2012 is: Adam Chase McWhorter, Adam O. Singleton, Alaina Marie King, Alan Harrington Lair, Alena Summer Sebastian, Alexandrea Loraine Sluder, Alexandria Dawn Stamper, Allen Keith Johnson, Allen Joelle Sebastian, Allison Diane Newman, Alyssa Dawn Miracle, Amanda Michelle Barron, Amanda Christine Conway, Amanda Lee Davis, Amber Lynn Bowles, Amber Nicole Davis, Amber Jo Preston-Goode, Amy Renee Shackleford, Andrea Dawn Helton, Anthony Wayne Davis, April Elizabeth Hargis.
Ashley Marie Aube, Austin Cole Henderson, Austin Dean Denny, Austin Keith Dowell, Austin Dale Popplewell, Autumn Karise Lanigan, Autumn Delynna Morgan, Benjamin Alexander Andes, Benny C. Cross, Billy Wayne Johnson, Bobbie Jean Smith, Bradley Allen Foster, Brandon Harley Davidson, Brandon Keith Sowers, Brandyn Chase Pemberton, Brian Kelly Turner, Brittany Leeann Miller, Brooklyn Paige Isaacs, Bryson Blake Morrow, Callie Marie Taylor, Cameron Blake Honaker, Carrie Ann Smith.
Casandra Faye Horton, Casey Lee Phillips, Cecilia Nicolette Cano, Charles Buchanan Volk, Chasity Brooke Smith, Chasity Michele Ellison, Chasity Dawn Ryan, Chasity Gardenia Simpson, Chelcie Michele Hogue, Chelsey Leanna Abee, Chloe Noel Whitaker, Christian Hunter Mason, Christopher Allen Butler, Christopher Michael Clark, Christopher Sebastian May, Christopher Ross Miracle, Clifton Shaye Harris, Cody Jacob Combs, Cody Lee Ison, Cody Eric Jarrett, Cody Ryan Elliott, Cody Lee Hafley.
Colleen Mae Spears, Corey Thomas Goode, Coty Michael Sims, Courtney Lee Hines, Courtney Danielle Spurgeon, Courtney Danielle Stevens, Courtney Danielle Slone, Curstain Lee Lopez, Daniel Christopher Peck, David Matthew Bugg, Deanna Christine Coers, Deon Jamale Shannon, Desiree Sparks, Destinee Danielle Bowling, Donnie Stephen Sullivan, Dustin Lee Lawhorn, Dustin Tyler Moore, Dylan Dakota Coleman, Dylan Clay Smith, Eduardo Arnulfo Gonzalez, Elijah Wade Lawson, Elvis Lee Estes.
Emily Sue Watters, Emily Anne Wethington, Erika Danielle Combs, Forrest Andrew Dugger, Gene Scott Smith, Glenna Jean Smith, Hale Alexander Spurlin, Halie Cheyenne Stephens, Harrison Drake Hardin, Harry Lee Hendrickson, Haylee Renee Toy, Heather Leanne McFerron, Heather Renee Watts, Heather Anne Gill, Holly Anne Carter, Holly Ann House, Irena Mckenzie Manuel, Jacob Dewayne Cooper, Jacob Douglas Price, Jacqueline Mercedes Gonzalez, James Michael Crowe, James Dylan Slone.
James Micah Ward, Janie Michelle Smith, Jarah Madison Jones, Jason Carrier, Jenna Brooke Caudill, Jennifer Lynn Noland, Jensen Marie Mason, Jerry David Wilson, Jessica Shalynn Bustle, Jessica Paige Hunter, Jessica Ela-marie Vandivier, Joanie Nicole Smith, Johnathan Wayne Baldwin, Johnny Lee Jones, Jordan Wayne Logue, Jorden Allen Abshear, Joseph Chase Hoskins, Joshua Shane Bolden, Joshua Tyler Holbrook, Joshua Willard Lee Hall, Joshua King Russell, Justin Lee Williams, Justin Todd Wilson.
Kaitlin Marie LeGere, Kaleb Nathaniel Sims, Kathryn Jean Miracle, Kayla Frances Hoskins, Kayla Suzanne Jarrett, Kayla C. Lasure, Kayla Leah Martin, Kaylee Elizabeth Crawford, Kellie Danielle Conley, Kelsey Lynn Henderson, Kelsey Mackenzie Smith, Kelsy Dawn Goens, Kenas Cody Hall, Kennedy N. Dupray, Kimberly Gail Bullock, Kody Wayne Mullins, Kolby Taylor Flynn, Kristian Rae Ann Hood, Kristin Nicole Winston, Kylene Williams, Larry Wayne Sizemore, Latia Lanea Wilkinson.
Laura Ann Estridge, Lauren Brook Mounce, Leah Nora Weston, Levi Thompson Brock, Lola Faith Hensley, Madeleine Deshea Brockman, Makayla Kristin Carrier, Mary Elizabeth Hogue, Mary Elizabeth Smith, Matthew Kevin Coffman, Matthew Ryan Warfield, Matthew Todd Shofner, Melody Jordan Simpson, Michael Irvin Wilcher, Michaela Beth Robertson, Michelle R. McLemore, Michelle Regina Gail Sparks, Misti Mae Thompson, Misti Gayle Douglas, Misty Dawn Frederick, Misty Dawn Shearer.
Mitchell Lee McClure, Nicholas Aaron Smith, Polly Ida Rector, Rachel Shannon Benton, Rae Mikala Reid, Renee Nicole Crawley, Richard Blake Collins, Richard Everett Foley, Robin Leighann Perry, Ronald Edward Sharp, Roy Anthony Smith, Russell E. Moran, Ryne Winston Otto, Sabrina Rachell Nicholas, Samantha Jo Faye Berryman, Sara Michelle Caudill, Sara Danielle Gifford, Sarah Ellyn Lanham, Scotty Lee Burkhart, Shaina Lynn Goode, Shandra Kaye Sims, Shannon Michelle Gosser.
Shelbey Marie Meece, Shelby Elizabeth Smith, Shelby Nicole Stull, Shelby Christalyn Downs, Shelby Renee Price, Sherrica Danielle Gooch, Skyler Chance Caudill, Stefany Merana Young, Stephanie Raye Downs, Stephanie Price, Stephen Gregory Wade, Street Tyler Phillips, Sydney Paige Mitchell, Tanya Jo Davis, Taylor Beth Elam, Taylor Danielle Estes, Taylor Moriah Fisher, Thai Lee David Dulay, Thomas H. Demarse, Thorin Wain Houk, Tiffany Marie Kittle, Tiffany Nicole Griffin, Timothy Allen Grizzell.
Tony Clay Estes, Trent Andrew Johnson, Trenton Keith Edgington, Tyler Dahne Rogers Cain, Tyler Anthony Elmore, Tyler Andrew Harrison, Vincent Timothy Morris, Wesley Andrew Russell, Whitney Michelle Harris, Willa Cheyenne Hogue, William Quintin Blair and Zackery Kenneth Elliott.