COLUMBIA, Tenn. – (May 28, 2020) – Maury County Public Schools celebrated high school students in a ceremony for those graduates who have enlisted in the military and their deployment is prior to the upcoming graduation on June 29, which was rescheduled to later this summer due to Covid-19. The special military graduation ceremony was held at the Columbia Central High School Auditorium Wednesday evening May 27.
Commencement Speaker, Lieutenant Colonel Rick Frank, United States Army addressed the 22 graduating seniors who enlisted to serve in the military, 21 of which were in attendance. Senior Robert McKeon departed for active service and his diploma was delivered by Spring Hill High School Principal, Dr. Christine Potts, along with assistant principals and Superintendent Dr. Chris Marczak.
Graduates recognized included Haley Amagrande – United States Army – Culleoka Unit School, Chesley Cothran – United States Army – Culleoka Unit School, Jon Luc Underwood – United States Army – Mt. Pleasant High School, Jeffry Abdon – United States Army – Spring Hill High School, Anthony Barger – United States Army – Spring Hill High School, Rogers Nicholas – United States Army – Spring Hill High School, Robert McKeon – United States Army – Spring Hill High School, Garret Scott Franks – United States Marines – Columbia Central High School, Edmar Landon Garcia – United States Marines – Columbia Central High School, Austin Colby Hamilton – United States Marines – Columbia Central High School, Alexander Scott Vandiver – United States Marines – Culleoka Unit School, Austin Jamison Harris – United States Marines – Spring Hill High School, Austin Scot Baldwin – United States Marines – Spring Hill High School, Faith Allgood – United States Marines – Spring Hill, Eva Espino – United States Marines – Spring Hill, Chance Noble – United States Navy – Columbia Central High School, Angel Ramirez – United States Navy – Columbia Central High School, Ruben Martinez – United States Navy – Columbia Central High School, Hunter Haggard – United States Navy – Spring Hill High School, Justin Davis – Army National Guard – Mt. Pleasant High School and Jaxson Mourning – United States Air Force – Spring Hill High School.
Master of Ceremonies, Dr. Chris Marczak, Superintendent Maury County Public Schools welcomed speakers Dr. Christine Potts of Spring Hill High School, Mr. Roger White of Columbia High School, Ms. Penny Love of Culleoka Unit School, Randy Hubbell of Santa Fe Unit School and Dr. Ryan Jackson of Mt Pleasant High School.
A performance and encouraging words were delivered by Grammy Award winning singer / songwriter, John Berry, who sang “The Graduation Song.” Additional acoustic performances included songs by Allie Colleen, Glen Templeton and The Band Steele. The National Anthem was performed by Dan Oxley.
“I am very honored to serve as commencement speaker for this special event. I applaud Maury County Public Schools for honoring these young men and women who have chosen to serve our nation in uniform. They’re all heroes in my book!” – Lieutenant Colonel Rick Frank, United States Army
“I am proud today to honor these special Maury County Public School students as they graduate from our high schools and enlist in the military to serve their country, protect our liberties, and defend the Constitution of the United States of America. Without their sacrifice, and the sacrifice of those before them, special ceremonies like this would not be possible. I wish our graduates all the best, congratulations on your accomplishments, thank you for your service, and God speed.” – Chris Marczak, Ed.D.
Graduation is such an important event in a young person’s life. I am truly honored to be asked to come and share a song and a few words with these wonderful Americans. – John Berry, Grammy Award winning artist
“Being a part of the planning for this special graduation for our military kids has been emotional and extremely rewarding. On behalf of all the parents of these military enlistees, I would like to say how grateful we are that our kids are being respected and celebrated for all of their hard work as well as their decision to serve our country. Thank you Dr. Marczak for not turning your back on these students and for caring enough about them to see that this graduation ceremony is one of a kind and truly special. We will not forget what you have done.” – Melissa Lemmon, Planning Coordinator
In recognition of the accomplishments, graduates were presented with gift bags with contributions from Williams Honor (Reagan Richards & Gordon Brown), Wade Hayes, Noah Galloway, Shane Owens, The Band Steele, Glen Templeton, John Berry and Allie Colleen.