By Elaine Owen, Editor
A perfect evening offered Fannin County
High School (FCHS) graduates a preview of
the future before them.
Standing room only greeted many visitors
as school officials, family, friends and graduates
filled the home side of the football stadium
for the forty-third annual commencement
As the graduates walked into the stadium,
the FCHS band, directed by Scott Barnstead,
played “Pomp and Circumstances.”
Boy Scouts Jonothon Payne and Ethan
Mann presented the Colors and the Pledge of
Allegiance was led by Shannon Culpepper.
Hannah Dickey introduced Salutatorian
Morgan Leigh Blaine, who will attend Georgia
Tech. Speaking directly to her classmates,
Blaine said, “We have been through a lot together.
We’ve been through ups and downs.
Sometimes it seemed we really went through
downs. But we made it…and now, every day
we must work to make tomorrow what we
want it to be.”
Grey Walker Gregory introduced Valedictorian
Ramtin Doroodchi, who will also attend
Georgia Tech. Doroodchi told his classmates
that many of them had made friendships that
will last a lifetime. He challenged them to
continue working their best as the next few
years would set the foundation for what their
future would become.
Principal Eric Cioffi delivered the Principal’s
Address, relating the many unique
achievements the Class of 2019 made. These
● 49 honor graduates, earning a cumulative
grade-point-average (GPA) of 93 or above
in core subjects of English, math, science and
● 118 graduates qualified for the HOPE
scholarship while another 20 maintained a
GPA of 3.7 or above, qualifying them for 100
percent college tuition through the HOPE
● 55 seniors completed over 220 college
courses. Combined with classmates in advanced
placement classes, seniors completed
over 300 college courses while still in high
● FCHS has been ranked in the top 20 percent
of high schools in the nation for the last
three years by U.S. News and World Report.
Cioffi credited seniors and all students, for
playing a big part in this achievement.
Cioffi then challenged the seniors to be
strong, committed and to choose wisely in
life. He reminded them that as freshmen,
they all had signed a pledge to graduate, a
goal they achieved Friday night. “Ask yourself
what is your next goal and sign your
name to it,” Cioffi said.
Superintendent Dr. Michael Gwatney
presented the class and School Board Chairman
Lewis DeWeese accepted the class.
Assistant Principal Dr. Scott Ramsey recognized
the 49 honor graduates and Principal
Cioffi presented diplomas to each graduate.