MOUNT VERNON — The Knox County Educational Service Center on Friday honored a number of students who worked hard to earn sufficient credits for graduation and who achieved that goal. Each student received a medal of honor and certificate of accomplishment.
ESC consultant Connie Hatley welcomed the guests and the seniors entered the room to the strains of “Pomp and Circumstance.” Student James Knox led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance, and Mount Vernon High School Assistant Principal Sam Shuman accompanied himself on the guitar as he sang a tribute to the parents in attendance — “Teach Your Children.”
The keynote speaker at the recognition ceremony was Dave Southward, ESC superintendent. He spoke to both the graduates and their parents. To the parents, family members and friends who have bolstered and encouraged the students over the years, he said, “This is a payday for you in bigger bucks than what you have in your pocket.
“These kids are special in their own way,” he continued, “and each has reached the pinnacle of graduation because of your support. You can be proud of what they have achieved. I applaud you.”
Southward used a yo-yo to illustrate his remarks to the graduating seniors. He talked about how one learns and demonstrated the ups and downs and vagaries of life through the yo-yo’s motions.
“We learn a process or technique,” Southward said, “then we commit it to memory and it becomes automatic. We always keep practicing the skills of life. ... Congratulations to each and every one of you.”
The respective teachers presented the medals and certificates to Maxwell Butcher, Jesse Ervin, Hilary Myers, Jared McCament, Erica Moxley and Bethany Seese, all Mount Vernon; and Casey Keener, East Knox.
Following a final number by Shuman called “When We All Held Hands,” Transition Mission instructor Nancy Gregg closed with these words: “Give the world the best you’ve got. Who knows what will happen.”
All of the students will be participating in their home school’s graduation exercises, Gregg said, as will Danville students Ami Iverson and Steven Kroninger, who have chosen to continue their education with the Transition Mission program.