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Classes of 2009 embark on new chapters of life

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By Susan Sharp

Whether it was on a football field or in the sanctuary of a church, the excitement of the 2009 graduating classes could not be contained.

On Friday night, 77 Jellico High School seniors crossed over a stage into the adult world.

The ceremony held at the Church of God Mountain Assembly Tabernacle was highlighted by the traditional senior class video showing the graduates through the years.

Class President Kayla Osborn gave her fellow graduates words of wisdom. While Valedictorian Nathan McNealy along with salutatorians Holly Davis and Stephanie Smith shared their departing thoughts as well.

However, the night didn’t belong to just students.

Danny Oakes was honored as the Teacher of the Year by the class of 2009.

Raymond Surber, retiring vice principal, and Francis Steely were also singled out by the class for their contributions as well.

As the sun rose on Saturday morning, so did the soon to be graduates of Campbell County High School.

“Your life will never be the same,” CCHS Principal Robbie Heatherly told the students under a bright sky. “You are my first graduating class that means a lot to me.”

Paula Flowers, who was a member a Gov. Phil Bredesen's cabinet, spoke to the Class of 2009 about their futures.

“Listen to your inner voice; you will choose the right path,” Flowers urged the group.

Reminding the seniors to never forget their roots, she said, “This will always be your home. Give back to Campbell County because it has given so much to you.”

Assistant Principal David Jones told the packed stadium the students seated before them had garnered $1.4 million in scholarships.

“Their success is undeniable,” Jones said.

Fourteen students finished their high school careers with a 4.0 grade average or better. ACT scores were used to determine the top spots for the students. Meagan Chapman and Zach Walden were named valedictorians.

Mychal Bolton, Shelby Manis and Amy Morris were the salutations for CCHS.