Skies cleared briefly as the Clinton High School Class of 2017 made their way to Yellowjacket Arena, where family and friends packed the seats and stood in the aisles for commencement. The Clinton High School Band performed “Pomp and Circumstance as the graduates marched to the stage. Superintendent Andrew Vining gave the welcome address followed by the senior class president’s speech given by Josh Pryor. Superintendent Vining recognized honor students and their parents and counselor Kristen Hensley introduced the Salutatorian and Valedictorian.

Salutatorian Zane Hinchey admitted to the crowd that he didn’t know where he wanted to go college until about a month ago.

“Don’t wait until it is too late to realize what you should be doing with your life. Life isn’t special because it lasts, in fact, it is special because it ends. The rest of our lives we should make the small decisions with our heads, and the big ones with our hearts,” Hinchey said.

Alyssa McKnight echoed those sentiments in her Valedictorian address.

“As we leave the comfort and security of our homes, we must remember every single decision we make and opportunity we take, not only shapes the paths of our lives, but those around us as well,” McKnight said.

Afterwards Assistant Principal Robert Prince took to the stage to recognize the vocational completers.

Vining and Hensley were joined by Principal Kalyn Evans and Kirk Pryor, president of the Clinton School Board, for the presentation of diplomas. Principal Evans recognized scholarships and parents. To close the evening the Class of 2017 joined arms on stage to sing the Alma Mater and for the traditional tossing of the caps.