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Thomas Nelson honors first grads in a new way

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By Kacie Goode

Thomas Nelson High School has started a new tradition of honoring its graduates in a way that permanently ties them to the school. On Monday, TNHS seniors were asked to place a brick, engraved with the graduates’ names and graduation year, on a section of walkway in front of the school. The bricks will be placed into the ground, starting what will be known as the TNHS Citizens Walkway.

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“When the school first opened, we gave (students) pieces of bricks because they were a part of the ‘original foundation’,” said Principal Wes Bradley. “This just further symbolizes that.”

The ceremony was a kickoff for the school’s Lift-Off Week where students, mainly those graduating, will take part in a number of award ceremonies, rallies, and activities, ending with Project Lift-Off Friday after graduation.

Today, seniors and juniors will come together for a torchlight ceremony, hosted by the Hamilton House, which will allow the graduating class to pass on their wisdom and advice to their underclassmen.

The TNHS Class of 2014 will be the first seniors to graduate from the new school, but for many of them, graduating felt “normal.”

“I’m pumped,” said Sydney Varney, a senior. “I’m going to fill this school with my tears, but then I know I’ll be happy.”

Varney said she, along with her friends Megan Moquin and Grace Parrish, are “sad to be leaving school,” but have their futures to look forward to and planning their routes to post secondary education.

“I’m going to ECTC for two years and then I’ll be going to U of L,” Varney said. She intends on looking into becoming a history teacher or going into event planning.

Moquin said she is looking into being a Hospice nurse and Parrish is considering becoming an athletic trainer.

For these students, a sense of normalcy and excitement is a relief, after transferring to a new school and being the “guinea pigs” of a new educational environment.

As for the reinforcing that the students are and will continue to be a part of TNHS and everything the school stands for, Bradley said, “I think that is becoming more and more apparent as we grow.”