Franklin County High School Valedictorian Alex Sterling addresses his classmates. [ David Adlerstein | The Times ]
| | | |

Franklin County bids farewell to graduates

At an awards assembly and graduation ceremonies, Franklin County High school honored its 51 members of the class of 2024.

Both ceremonies, held in the gym, opened with the filing in of the seniors, to the strains of Pomp and Circumstance.

Class President Alex Sterling and Historian Ja’Marcus Turrell greeted the enormous crowd, with Turrell and Class Vice President Jostyn Tipton leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

Following the invocation by Class Secretary Alexcia McNair-Martin, the class presented Cathy Brackin and Maria Dively with a profusion of gifts.

Salutatorian Payton Blackburn and Valedictorian Alex Sterling then delivered their addresses. 

“It is not an easy feat to navigate the challenges of high school, but here we are, standing together on the brink of a new chapter in our lives,” said Blackburn. “Through the trials of high school and life, you’ve overcome it all. No matter how hard classes got or how badly you may have wanted to, you did not quit, you persevered. 

“The obstacles we have overcome have only prepared us for the journey ahead. Here’s to embracing the unknown with courage, tenacity and the knowledge that we are capable of achieving great things.”

The seniors then presented the class flower to parents and other loved ones, as is customary.

In his address, Sterling noted that “the lesson to be learned here is, titles, accomplishments, achievements – they’ll all fade someday. But the relationships you build? Those stay with you forever.

“One of the most beautiful things we all have is each other,” said Sterling. “Don’t get caught up in the past or the future. If you live in the future, you’ll always be anxious. If you live in the past, you’ll always feel that you could’ve done better. But what you do right now is 100 percent in your control.

“The bottom line is that what the world says about you does not define you,” he said. “You always have the power to finish your story.”

Following the presentation of diplomas by Principal Danielle Rosson, and the handing them out by Superintendent Steve Lanier and School Board Chairman Stacy Kirvin, the class sang the alma mater and then following the recessional returned inside to toss their caps in the air.

At senior awards on May 21, the following scholarships were given out, by the following presenters:

Apalachicola Legion Post #106 Auxiliary (Pam Marshall): $800 award to Ava Lutz

Apalachicola Bay Charter School (Elizabeth Kirvin) two $500 awards to Alex Sterling and Alexcia McNair-Martin

Brittney Simmons Grady Memorial (D.T. Simmons): $1,000 award to Tylin Tolliver

Republican Executive Committee Citizenship Award (Brant Banks): $1,500 awards to Alex Sterling and Peyton Blackburn 

Coach and Blanche Wagner Scholarship (Steve Lanier): two $750 awards to Alex Sterling and Peyton Blackburn 

Croom Criminal Justice (Anthony Croom): $500 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Curfew Masonic Lodge #73 (Carl Whaley): Two $500 awards to Alexcia McNair-Martin and Tucker Venable

Florida Seafood Festival (Carl Whaley) three $500 awards to Alexcia McNair-Martin, Alex Sterling and Tucker Venable

Delta Kappa Gamma of Franklin County (Elinor Mount-Simmons) $500 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Dixie Youth Baseball (Melanie Copeland) $2,000 award to Alex Sterling

Doug Creamer Health Care (David Walker): $1,000 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Emerald Coast Federal Credit Union Teresa Lynn Taylor Memorial (Richard Quackenbush): $500 award to Alex Sterling

Franklin County School Board (Stacy Kirvin) Four $1,000 awards to Alexcia McNair-Martin, Alex Sterling, Gideon Dively and Will Luberto

Franklin County School Trust – Gulf Coast State College (Melanie Copeland) two $1,400 awards to Alexcia McNair-Martin and Kirsten Martina

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office (Cliff Carroll) $500 award to Alex Sterling

Gulf Coast State College Pathways to Success (Kristal Smallwood): Two years tuition, worth $8,500, to Ansley Savage, Onamae Millender and Laelah Carranza

H’COLA (Elinor Mount-Simmons): $300 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Katie Herzog Memorial – Apalachicola Riverkeeper (Tom Herzog and Susan Anderson) $2,000 scholarship to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Linda Jefferson Memorial (Teresa Ann Martin) three $500 awards to Alexcia McNair-Martin, Alex Sterling and Tucker Venable

Loretta Taylor Memorial (Steve Lanier) $1,000 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Love Center Bishop Daniel White Memorial Scholarship (Dolores Croom): Alexcia McNair-Martin 

Perry and Young Foundation (Kelly Roberson) $500 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin 

Philaco Woman’s Club (Melanie Copeland) $1,000 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin 

Seahawk Diamond Booster Club (Lloyd Alford) $500 award to Alex Sterling

Seahawk Royalty Award (Lynn Clark): $500 award to Dezmonae Sanders

St. George Island Civic Club Eric Roberts Memorial (Barbara Sanders and Sharon Strickland) $500 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Take Stock in Children (Cathleen Brackin) four $7,300 scholarships to Gideon Dively, Kirsten Martina, Kylie Sapp and Ja’Marcus Turrell

Trinity Outreach Award in honor of Susan Galloway (Jo Branch and Myrtis Wynn) new laptop computer to Alex SterlingWynn Family Scholarship (Myrtis Wynn) $1,000 award to Alexcia McNair-Martin

Similar Posts

Meet the Editor

David Adlerstein, The Apalachicola Times’ digital editor, started with the news outlet in January 2002 as a reporter.

Prior to then, David Adlerstein began as a newspaperman with a small Boston weekly, after graduating magna cum laude from Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts. He later edited the weekly Bellville Times, and as business reporter for the daily Marion Star, both not far from his hometown of Columbus, Ohio.

In 1995, he moved to South Florida, and worked as a business reporter and editor of Medical Business newspaper. In Jan. 2002, he began with the Apalachicola Times, first as reporter and later as editor, and in Oct. 2020, also began editing the Port St. Joe Star.

Wendy Weitzel The Star Digital Editor

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.