As they took their last walk onto the North County High School football field as seniors Saturday night, the Class of 2011 brought along their late classmate, Josh Starks, in spirit.
Josh died last year after an illness. Several students wore colored rubber bracelets in his honor. Some shared stories of him, while others shed tears. On the field, at the end of the first row, a chair held a cap and gown, a yellow rose, aviator glasses and a basket of flowers with Josh’s name on it. Senior Class President recalled Josh’s blue Mustang and said they would each hear it going down the road again when they are called home.”
Principal John Crabtree pointed out the chair and reminded the class, “As long as he is in our hearts, he will always be with us,”
Crabtree said graduation is a key to the rest of your life.
“Take this key and make your future everything you want it to be,” he told the class.
Student Council President Keila Nesler thanked parents, teachers and others for “getting us through this roller coaster ride called high school.” She advised her classmates to “Go for your dreams, whether they be small or big.”
Class valedictorian Brett Willette kidded several of his classmates and congratulated one for being on time. Taking a more serious tone, he urged them to follow their hearts.
“Some of us will be doctors, some lawyers, some teachers,” he said. “Whatever you do, do what you love. Don’t be content with being average.
“Average is as close to the bottom as it is to the top.”
Class Salutatorian Sarah Halbert admitted to being “a little freaked out” and said she knew her classmates were, too.
“Now we’re adults,” she said. “Our lives are just beginning and there are new friends and new adventures to have. We can do anything we want. There are endless possibilities.”
Sarah pointed out that Levi Palmer was actually the second highest student academically, while she was the third, but that he was ineligible for salutatorian because he had just started at North County that year.
“What this means is, he had a higher GPA, but I had to make the speech,” she said wryly.
North County School Board President John “Jack” Poston addressed the seniors who were in the last class he taught. He reminded them of the lessons he taught.
“Use good English, please. When you accuse someone, remember when you point the finger at them, three fingers point back at you,” Poston said. “If you can’t use a word when you stand up in your church, don’t use it anywhere.
“And gentlemen, when you enter a building, take off your hats.”
The graduates: Karissa Elyse Abt, John Patrick Allen, Joshua Paul Arcand, Tyler Robert Arnold, Jeffrey Ian Atkisson, Bradley Joseph Aubuchon, Ashley Marie Babilonia, Patrick Alan Barr, Nicholas Russell Basler, Alec Richard Beister, Charles Chadwick Nelson Berrey, Zachary Ryan Bertel, Kursten Nichole Black, Andrew Robert Blanton, Clara Bouedo, Krislyn Dawn Boughton, Austin Michael Boulch, Brittanie Lachelle Boyer, Page Ray Lynn Brewer, Kristine Sharon Bromley, Gregory Michael Buchmann II, Samantha Sue Burdine, Christy Eileen Burgess, Martika Lynn Burns,;
Anthony Charles Callahan, Melissa Kay Camp, Riley Preston Campbell, Christopher Michael Carr, Cheyenne Jordan Carron, Chelsea Tyler Cash, Chase Michael Chrisco, Kaycie Marie Claar, Christopher Joseph Clark, Tameca Lynn Coleman, Jacob Aaron Connell, Brittney Marie Conway, Madison Rose Cook, Kandace Danielle Copeland, Casandra Renee Courson, Zachary Levi Crocker, Mallory Jo Dalton, Samantha Christine Dane, Johnna Kaylin Davis, Sabrina Dale Rae Davis, Ashlee Shayne Dean, Garrett Daniel Degonia, Ryan Lucas Matthew DeGonia, Zachary Isiaha DeGonia, Jacob Patrick Demay, Alyssa LeeAnn Dixon, Brent Edward Dobas, Mark Anthony Dowell Jr, Dylan Anthony Driemeier, Kayci Raye DuVall,;
Dominick Ryan Eaton, Ashley Marie Eckhoff, Laura Rachael Elam, Eric Tyler Erchien, Nora Gene Faenger, Holli Nicole Farmer, Carolanne Joy Ferreira, Brittany Reneé Ford, John Harley Forshee, Lindsy Breanna Forsythe, Justin Wayne Fossey, Holly Yvonne Francis, Brittany Michelle Franklin, Camilla Jenelle Frew, Dillon Christopher Frost, Christina Ann Gilliam, Jacob Eli James Griffin, Robert Lindsay Gyngard;
Christopher Allen Haarmann, Sarah Elizabeth Halbert, Kelsey Celeste Hall, Dylan Luke Hampton, Jordan Taylor Harrison, Tyler Jackson Hayes, Kelcy Marie Elizabeth Heck, Felicia Marie Hedrick, Tyler Glen Heflin, Kyle David Henderson, Samuel Hunter Henson, Cristina Elizabeth Hernandez, Michael Anthony Hernandez, Alan Christopher Hoskins, Devin Taylor Howell, Ashley Nicole Huber, Rilea Nicole Huff, Austin Ezra Hughes, Leighanna Marie Hulsey, Danielle Nicole Hurt, Erika Lynn Hurt, Rebecca Elaine Huskey, Elijah Jon Hutchinson, Ezra Paul Hutchinson;
Keith Cloyd Ingram, Sarah Ayn Elizabeth Jackson, Taylor Alexandra Jaco, Kayla Marie Jakoubek, Jacob Matthew Jarvis, Leah Faye Jaycox, Nicholas Andrew Jeffries, Jie Jiang, Lindsey Renee Johnston, Alicia Ann Jones, Bobbie Renee Jones, Keri Elizabeth Jung, Michael Allen Kendle, Daccota Raelynn Kennedy, Shelby Logan Kennedy, Keegan Nathaniel Keown, Anthony Lawerance Kunz, Garrett Michael LaBruyere, Ashley Amber Lappe, Lacey Nicole Lashley, Steven Allen Lato, Cory Dale Lawson, Taylor Shae Lawson, Heather Renee Leonard, Kassandra Ann Likely, Nicole Rene Lindsey, Rachel Elizabeth Lopez, Austin Wayne Lotz;
Olivia Jane Mackley, Dustin James Marler, Crystal Dawn Martin, Summer Gail Martin, Hailee Kay McCarty, Mindy Lynn McClanahan, Charles David McClung Jr, Kelsey Marie McDaniel, Jared Bradley McFarland, Samuel William McFarland, Kevin Scott McGee, Bryce Laurence McGuire, Cory Alexander McHenry, Nicholas Lynn McNeal, Renee Joann Melvin, Matthew William Merritt, Tashia Elizabeth Merritt, Shelsie Lyn Mesey, Alecia Elaine Morgan II, Emily Renee Morris, Clinton Lee Murray;
Keila Ann Nesler, Justin Allen Newland, John Gregory Nichols, Jacob Taylor Nicholson, Dorothy Renee Nickens, Dustin Lee Northcutt, Justin Blake Oates, Justen Scott Obermoeller, Brittani Nicole O'Connell, Levi Edward Palmer, Alison Leigh Parks, Shawna Danielle Parmley, Trisha Ann Helen Patterson, Timothy Daniel Phillips, Hillary Christine Pinkston, Dilyn Levi Pipkin, Ashlee Nacole Plank, Jordan Scott Portell, Corey Nelson Pratte, Jacqueline Kay Pyeatt, Kristina Lynn Pyeatt, Allison Marie Radford, Isabella Amanda Marie Ramirez, Brittany Marie Rawson, Kimberly Grace Reed, Bryan Lee Rendleman, Alicia Leigh Rhodes, Anterica Shavonne Roberts, Travis Wayne Roberts, Lindsey Jean Ruble, Christian Renee Russell;
Nicole Renee Schibbelhut, Amanda Teresa Schroer, Logan William Shaw, Kelsey Lynn Shelton, James Jason Singleton Jr, Nicholas Tyler Sipp, Jessie Marie Skaggs, Kendra Joan Skaggs, Amanda May Smith, Monique Marie Smith, Sara Anne Smith, Brett Daniel Snow, Katherine Lindsay Sprauer, Deborah Ann Steffan, Katilyn Marie Stegall, Drake Edward Stiehr, Michael Anthony Stokes, Dylan Keith Stricklin, Dillon Wayne Suess, Tillia Lorrayne Sutton, Nickolas Ka Sweazea-Fogle, Christian Ty Tedder, Lindsey Marie Tesreau, Melissa Ann Thurmond, Robert Dale Tidwell, Spencer Allen Tiefenauer, Michael Charles Tolle;
Cameron James Vasquez, Jessica Danielle Vaughn, Charles Joseph M. Vaughn, Justin Cory Vollmer, David Henry Walters III, Kelsey Nicole Ward, Elizabeth M. Warren, Ryan Michael Watkins, Tyler Stephen Wernecker, Danesha Renee Westrup, Todd Edward White Jr, Amanda Danielle Whitwell, Brett Allen Willette, Kayleigh Sue Williams, Andrew Sheridan Williamson, Koreanna Kay Wilson, Nathan Dean Womack, and Alyssa Diane Yates.
Paula Barr is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 172 or at email@example.com.