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Lamar seniors take step to future

By Staff
STAR STUDENT Lamar School senior Dave Hicks, left, mingles with his friends Maria Presley and Jamie Strickland before graduation ceremonies Friday night. Hicks, the class of 2003's valedictorian, also was recognized as Mississippi's Star Student in a program sponsored by the Mississippi Economic Council. PHOTO BY PAULA MERRITT / THE MERIDIAN STAR
By Georgia E. Frye / staff writer
May 17, 2003
Andrea McLelland, a graduating senior at Lamar School, said she had mixed feelings about graduation. Her comments came Friday night, minutes before she and 42 other seniors said goodbye to high school.
McLelland said she plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall and major in pre-optometry.
Lamar held graduation ceremonies for the class of 2003 on the school's football field.
Salutatorian Lacey Cook said her fellow classmates will always be a part of her life. Cook also remembered rising senior Drew Denney, who was killed in an automobile accident near the school last week.
Valedictorian Dave Hicks was presented with numerous awards during the ceremony. Among them was a $24,000 scholarship for being named Mississippi's STAR Student.
The award was presented by Peggy Howard of the Mississippi Economic Council and was sponsored by the Cook Foundation.
Hicks earned a perfect score on the ACT, a standardized test used for college admissions, the only student in Mississippi to achieve a perfect score on the test.
Another student, Blake Smith, said he is unsure about his future plans but is relieved to be graduating from high school.
Norman Joseph, a Mississippi native and college football recruiter, was the commencement speaker. Joseph, who went to college with Termie Land, head of Lamar School, said his niece, Keely Phillips, was among the graduating seniors.
Joseph told students that a positive attitude will get them far in life and will allow them to become winners. He also stressed the importance of overcoming negatives in order to be successful.
He challenged students to recognize the importance of Christ in their lives and to learn to love others and be kind.
Lamar senior Jamie Smith said she is proud of her accomplishment of graduating with honors. She wants to be a nutritionist and plans to attend the University of Southern Mississippi in the fall.

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