BALDWYN – Although it was a smaller graduating class, it was standing room only at the Baldwyn High School graduation Friday evening. The 38 graduates who walked the stage were ready to leave school to move on to brighter things.

Students like Cheyene Etheridge have plans to channel their passions into careers. The senior plays several instruments and has always had an interest in music and art. She plans to attend Itawamba Community College and hopes to transfer to an art school in Nashville afterward.

Etheridge has practiced and studied music since the fifth grade and was involved in band, choir and art, and also studied foreign language at Baldwyn High School. She plays five instruments: trumpet, French horn, mellophone, piano, guitar and recorder.

She said she is nervous about losing touch with the friends and classmates she has known since kindergarten.

“I’m nervous because I’ve gotten so used to this constant of waking up, going to school, going back home, and finding something to do until the next day, so for that all to come to end, I don’t know, I guess I am not ready to let go just yet,” she said with a smile.

Students like Johndrix Robinson overcame tragic life experiences to get to the stage for graduation. A couple of years ago, Robinson was in a motorcycle accident that resulted in a serious leg injury. He said he was surprised and glad to have made it, and plans to attend Northeast Mississippi Community College to study business.

“I’m excited, and I feel good,” Robinson said.

Dustin Wildmon enjoyed shop class in high school and took advantage of the school's fairly new vocational program to intern part-time at Toyota, getting hands-on, real work experience prior to graduation.

“Last summer, I worked in quality control and I learned to measure parts with certain tools and use their computers, and this year I worked in stamping. A lot of it has to do with safety,” Wildmon said.

Wildmon said he plans to go to Northeast Mississippi Community College to study accounting and is hopeful about what the future holds.

“I’m excited,” he said.

Valedictorian Jordan Eldridge said the Class of 2019 worked hard to get to graduation day, and he expressed gratitude to the parents, teachers and administrators who all pitched in to help the class reach their commencement day.

“Some of us will stay in touch and some of us will not, but we should always remember Baldwyn is our home no matter where we end up, so congratulations, Class of 2019. I wish the best of luck to you and God bless you all,” Eldridge said.

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