Mallory Finley, Trigg County High School Valedictorian 2020

Dear Class of 2020,

The last four years of high school have been nothing short of exciting, phenomenal, and overwhelming times. Through Friday Night Lights, Homecoming dances, Flex Days, Intersession Weeks, the Ham Festivals, annual Dodgeball Days, and Wow-Me-Wednesdays, we have experienced a wonderful and unforgettable four years at Trigg County High School.

We have proven to be elite in more ways than one. The seniors in the majority of the sports programs have led their teams to pure victory. Specifically, the boys soccer team has nine senior representatives on the team with an 11-6-2 record for the 2019-2020 year. Olivia Ricks (three-time winner of the Class 2A Region 1 Championship for cross country) and Colin Stevens (two-time State Runner-up for the 182 pound class in wrestling) won the Heisman Scholarship for exemplifying leadership and excellent athletic ability. Also, we have an astonishing total of thirty-seven honor graduates in our class with an unbelievable amount of dual credit classes under our belts. We, the Class of 2020, should be proud.

Our senior year had been amazing until around mid-March. I know it is not what we all wanted. I also know that's not how we expected to end our final year of high school, but we are getting through this together. I think the Coronavirus has really taught us our last lesson in high school, ironically. COVID-19 has taught us to adapt to change and take it in the most positive way possible, and we have done exactly that. With this lesson, we have shown perseverance and kindred hearts throughout quarantine. Some of us seniors have even taken part in a community service project designed by seniors where we “Adopted a Grandparent” at Barkley Plantation Assisted Living Facility. These things do not go unnoticed. With that, I am excited for new beginnings. This new chapter in our lives, whether it is to attend college, technical school, vocational school, the military, or working full time after graduation, starts soon. No matter the case, remember the lesson that quarantine and COVID-19 has shown us.

An important idea that needs to be remembered by us all as we take on the world is something we were reminded to say our whole entire high school career. I distinctly remember learning this quote in 8th grade as we were anxiously preparing for high school. Our wonderful and loving principal taught it to us then and has had us repeat it throughout high school. This quote is symbolic of the behavior we should all have had in high school and now as graduates. Class of 2020, I think you know what I am talking about. “Do the work, do what’s right, and be somebody.” Thank you, Mr. Burcham.

I want to address the families of the Class of 2020 graduates. I know that you all are experiencing conflicting emotions right now because your child or your children, for all of the twins in our class, are growing up. We are practically adults and are about to break through into our newest chapter of life. There are some sad emotions tied with that because you don’t want them to leave. On the other hand, you are out-of-your-seat excited for them and this new chapter of their life. You have held tight to them and loved them dearly, and now it's time to let them fly. From all of us, the Class of 2020, we want to graciously thank our families for caring for us, supporting us, loving us, and most importantly putting up with our teenage selves. I am sure it was a lot of work for some parents, so thank you.

I hope to see you all again at our traditional ceremony on August 8th. This Bible verse speaks to me when I think about our future as Trigg County High School graduates:

“Look straight ahead, and fix your eyes on what lies before you. Mark out a straight path for your feet; stay on the safe path. Don’t get sidetracked” Proverbs 4:25-27.

Good luck to us, the Class of 2020.

Go Wildcats!

Mallory Finley, TCHS Class of 2020 Valedictorian

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