By Molly Seales
On Thursday, May 11, at 6:00 p.m. graduates of the Riverdale Academy Class of 2023 gathered in the gymnasium in East Point to celebrate their years of hard work with their families and friends. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Class President Luke Greer, who has attended Riverdale since kindergarten. Luke gave the welcome, followed by the invocation from class sponsor Dr. Hunter Brown. Dr. Brown then led the class and visitors in “Victory in Jesus.” Bro. Thumper Miller, pastor at Open Door Fellowship, gave the devotional with a focus on Proverbs 27:12, which states, “The wise see danger ahead and avoid it, but fools keep going and get into trouble.” (NCV)
Next, class salutatorian Luke Greer gave his salutatory address. This was followed by valedictory addresses by class valedictorians Collin Hesson and Molly Seales. A senior slide show was shown, and Dr. Hunter Brown then presented school awards. He announced scholarships of the graduates, and presented the Scottish Rite Patriotism Award, which was voted on the faculty and staff, to Molly Seales and James Wagoner. Next, members of the Riverdale graduating class of 2002, Stefanie Hill and Layne Huckaby, presented the Adam Lee Perkins Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship was created to honor the memory of Adam Lee, a 2002 graduate of Riverdale, who was killed in a tragic car accident. This year’s recipient was Molly Seales. Next the LifeShare Blood Scholarship was presented to the senior who had donated the most units of blood. This year’s recipient was Jessie Kate Cobb. Sheriff Glen Edwards then presented the Sheriff’s Scholarship. The alternate for the scholarship was Collin Hesson, and this year’s recipient was Emily Kirkland. Lastly, Mr. Bruce Ray presented the American Legion School Awards, which were voted on by the faculty, to the students who exhibited qualities of courage, honor, leadership, patriotism, scholarship, and service. This year’s recipients were Molly Seales and Mason Murray.
Finally, the moment that the graduates had been waiting for since kindergarten, was here. Principal Danny Rester had the honor of presenting diplomas to the Class of 2023. Class members are as follows, and the “*” denotes honor graduates: Ben Almond, Thad Bates, *Emma Clemons, Jessie Kate Cobb, *Luke Greer, *Collin Hesson, *Emily Kirkland, Colton Massey, *Mason Murray, Tyler Parker, *Molly Seales, James Wagoner, Baylee Whittington, Jace Wilhite, and *Sarah Kate York. Tassels were turned, and the senior class led the audience in the Alma Mater. To end the ceremony, seniors Emily Kirkland and Tyler Parker passed the torch to juniors Ryder Huddleston and Will Jones. After the recessional, the Class of 2023 tossed their hats in celebration. Congratulations to the Riverdale Academy Class of 2023!