'Beautiful destinations' ahead, Hebron grads told

Hebron Valedictorian Eliana Carter delivers her speech
Staff Writer

Words of inspiration from a retired teacher and two of their class leaders send 11 Hebron Christian School students into the next phase of their lives.

The Clay County school held graduation Friday night with Houston, Miss.-resident Debbie Horn, who taught at Hebron and whose children attended school there, encouraging them to follow their spiritual compass into the world and make a difference.

Salutatorian Mary Carrington Smith and valedictorian Eliana Ping Carter paid tribute to the friends who'd come and gone from the school during their careers and educators they lost this year, basketball coach Bruce Franks who was one of the winningest coaches in North Mississippi history who died in March and cafeteria worker Debra Kay Lowther who died in February.

They also looked to the future.

Smith, who was the class president, centered her comments around her senior quote, "Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations."

"Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because having stood that test, the person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him," Carter said, citing James 1:12 from the Bible.
“I pray that as we go our separate ways, we will learn from the difficult roads that will lead each and every one of us to our beautiful destinations,” she urged.

Carter, who also was the class secretary and the school's Star Student, built on the theme.

"We have overcome our weaknesses and embraced our differences, and in so doing, learned from one another," she told the gathering of family and friends.

"Each of us will have our own journey, but I am proud to say you were all part of mine...So on this day we treasure these memories, we honor our past, and we look forward to the future," she concluded.

The other members of the graduating class are: Savannah Renee Shinn, class vice president; Sarah Rebekah Davenport, class treasurer; Lauren Olivia Galloway, class representative; Shelbie Nicole Brown; Brenda Alyssa Langley; Robyn Nicole Parker; Corrie Leann Stafford; Madison Lynn Thompson; and Jackson Kennedy Warren.