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Westside grads hear lessons of pride

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“The only question with me now is do I make you proud?” sang the graduates in the senior chorus of Westside High School.

They performed Taylor Hicks’ song Do I Make You Proud during the graduation ceremony Sunday at James Brown Arena.

Though no one audibly answered the question, the feeling in the arena as the song’s last note faded was a resounding “yes.”

Kami Tison said she was proud. She was there to support Jake Wood, her best friend’s son.

“He’s extremely intelligent, extremely funny, very popular, very down to earth,” she said.

Sonia Jones was especially proud. Her daughter, Karrina, is this year’s valedictorian.

Jones said her daughter always pushed herself to get good grades, which became one worry off the single mother’s mind.

“She took it seriously,” she said. “Even when she was younger she would come in the house and get right on her work.”

In her speech, Karrina gave thanks for parental support because, she said, she wouldn’t have been as successful without it.

Rather than offer words of wisdom, Karrina chose to reminisce with her classmates about memories of high school.

Then she reminded them to enjoy this moment because they arrived here quickly, and the years to come will pass just as swiftly.

“We should appreciate being in the here and now because life is sweet,” she said.


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