By Jodi Marze, Lifestyles Editor
The Picayune Item
Class of 2017 members divided into groups led by student council members and participated in cap and gown portraits, name signing on a wall with their graduation year, team building activities, refreshments, scavenger hunts, and wrote their future selves a message which was placed in a bottle to be opened their senior year.
Student Council Vice president Sarah Jane Walley said, “I enjoyed meeting all of the upcoming freshman today, and seeing them get excited for high school. I personally love being involved in my school and I had a great time today.
“I was really surprised by how many students came out for the program and how much fun we all had. I really believe that this upcoming school year is going to be fantastic. I am so ready to start my junior year. Roll Tide roll!”
That afternoon, the freshman students were joined by their parents for their commitment to graduate ceremony at which they signed a large banner with their graduation class year and an agreement in front of their classmates and parents agreeing to complete high school and earn their diploma.
Sheldon Duckett, PMHS freshman and son of Jaimie and Heather Duckett, was one of the students participating in the day’s events.
“It was really refreshing to see the staff at PMHS put so much positive emphasis on the class of 2017 being successful. As a parent, it made me proud to see my son excited about this new adventure in his life and his hopes for a bright future. I’d like to recognize the PMHS staff for a job well done in empowering the class of 2017 to commit to their goals,” said Heather Duckett.
“The Jostens Renaissance program is about recognizing every child,” said vice principal and coach Kristi Mitchell. “One motto has been ‘the tassel is worth the hassle.’ We want to make sure students invest and commit to their diploma and the community buys in and supports their journey as well. It is a team effort.”
Mitchell said the ninth-grade students will begin their high school journey by receiving colored arm bands at the commitment ceremony to serve as a constant reminder of their goal. They will then select their class motto, design shirts they can wear on special days, and along with other grades, will be recognized throughout the school year for successes and achievements.
“They will be recognized for a wide variety of things. We hope to build an active academic booster club which could obtain a 501c3 status and fund raise to provide things like letter jackets for students who excel and for those that achieve a 30 or higher on their ACT test would receive a ‘30’ club patch for their jacket,” said Mitchell.
“The possibilities are endless when you have a community that backs their leaders of tomorrow and students see that they really do matter to the community as a whole.”