Fort Dale Academy honors class of 2021 graduates at commencement ceremony

Published 12:27 pm Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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Fort Dale Academy held its senior graduation Friday, May 28.

Salutatorian Mackenzie Blackmon began the ceremony with a speech that reminded her fellow students that this was a day for celebration, not sadness.

“When thinking about our past years here at Fort Dale, one quote sums it up,” Blackmon said. “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”- Dr. Seuss.

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“I know it’s hard letting go of everything we had here, but the memories we made will always be with us. Some of us are hesitant and not ready to leave this all behind. But whether we are ready or not, it is our time to make an impact on the world and maybe even change a life,” Blackmon said.

Seniors awarded scholarships were recognized following the speech.

During this presentation, rain delayed the graduation by two hours.

Once the weather cleared, the ceremony resumed in the nearby gym.

Valedictorian Parker McNaughton then began his speech which he said was inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.”

“I chose to use painting as what seemed an obvious comparison between the colorful style of Van Gough and the equally, if not more, color characteristics of my classmates, “ McNaughton said.

“Every smear, dot, or glob of paint adds to the overall emotion felt with a piece of art. They do not fade into obscurity. Instead, they stand and shine individually while adding to the piece overall. I find this to be the case with every student in my class as well.”

McNaughton then attributed specific colors to each of his classmates while explaining how it fit their personality.

After his speech, McNaughton presented an original painting entitled “Oh The Places You’ll Go” to the school to commemorate the class of 2021.

Students tossed their caps in the air after the ceremony.

Congratulations to the Fort Dale Academy’s Class of 2021!