17 students graduate from OPS’s Emerson Academy in inspiring fashion 

May 18, 2021 | 12:10 am

Updated May 18, 2021 | 6:59 am

Photos by AP Imagery

During a graduation ceremony that was both inspiring and emotional, 17 Emerson Academy students accepted their high school diplomas amidst cheers and thunderous applause from their friends and family members. Despite the many trials tribulations that surrounded this school year, the Class of 2021 was all smiles during Monday night’s commencement ceremony. 

Principal Kevin Thompson acknowledged the students at Emerson Academy for their resilience and persistence throughout the entire COVID-19 pandemic. 

In quoting former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Owensboro Public Schools Superintendent Matthew Constant told the students, “Strength does not come from winning.” 

“Your struggles develop your strength,” he said. “When you go through hardships and decide not to surrender, you become strong.” 

As the students accepted their diplomas, Thompson shared details about each of their journeys to graduation. Some had persisted with their education after having a child. Some had worked full-time jobs throughout high school, while others had moved to Owensboro from another city during their senior year.  

While each student’s journey toward graduation was unique, they shared one common trait that Thompson highlighted over and over again: dedication.  

Constant named each of the 17 graduates by name, commending them for being “flat-out miraculous.” 

“You didn’t give up, and look at you now,” he said. “You are doing what some of you thought could never happen. If you can get to this place today, you can do anything.” 

Thompson thanked the parents of each student, the OPS board of education, and the staff at Emerson Academy for their unrelenting support in pushing each student to succeed. 

“They are constantly searching for ways to offer our students more,” he said. “There’s never a day I hear teachers in our building saying they wish they were doing something else.” 

As for the students, Thompson encouraged them to continue persevering, and to believe in themselves through the good and bad times alike. 

“When people tell you it won’t make much of a difference, prove them wrong,” he said. 

Emerson Academy also presented the first annual Jazaray Weaver Award during the ceremony to honor the late 2020 graduate who “tragically” passed away. 

Jareauna Fletcher was honored with the award because of her strong work ethic and positive attitude over the last year. 

May 18, 2021 | 12:10 am

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