Flint River graduates receive diplomas


Flint River Academy held its graduation exercises May 22 in the Academy’s Gymnatorium. Senior sponsor Mrs. Kay Barnes and Mrs. Ron Hall played a patriotic medley on the organ and piano before the classic strains of the “Grand March” from “Aida” began the processional.

The FRA Honor Graduates led the program, beginning with the invocation by Nathan Strickland and the welcome by Natalie Dunnahoo, who thanked the founding fathers of the school, the Board of Trustees, teachers and parents who all sacrificed to make and keep the school a reality and provide a superior quality education for nearly 50 years.

Lydia Hausman introduced the topic on which the graduates chose to speak: Truett Cathy and his goal to build a good name rather build a business empire. Reading from Proverbs 22, “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver or gold,” the seniors spoke of this giant of Christian living who is remembered for the power of a name that is respected and trusted.

Salutatorian Nathan Lee further spoke on the importance of a good reputation and stated, “Businesses are not dishonest or greedy; people are.” He pointed out examples such as contractors who cut corners to save money, accountants who falsify figures, the Enrons, Bernie Madoffs, and South Georgia Peanut Company whose actions have tarnished their names. Following the verse in Proverbs will lead each graduate to build a good name, and the right kind of riches will follow, he said.

Valedictorian Trevor McClure finished with the message of the seniors’ newfound independence requiring responsibility: our actions glorifying our name or disgracing it, giving back, and contributing to community and worthy causes. Truett Cathy’s scholarship foundation has given over $25 million to families of his employees, has started eight foster homes, and much, much more. While our individual contributions may not be as large, McClure stated, we can coach a little league team, help with United Way, volunteer in our churches, and let our actions exemplify our good name.

Headmaster Eddie Pollard recognized the scholarships given to the senior class. The Berner Scholarship went to Carly Adamson, David Scott Chester, Natalie Dunnahoo, Lydia Hausman, Nathan Lee, Trevor McClure, Jonathan McGinn, and J. Thomas Perdue. Karey Daniel received the Military Children Scholarship and the American Military Spouses Organization Scholarship. Lydia Hausman received the Georgia Regents Athletic Scholarship and Mary Harrison Memorial Scholarship. Nathan Lee earned the Molena Civic Club Scholarship and Nathan Strickland the Diverse Power Foundation Scholarship.

Of the twenty graduating seniors, three are receiving the Zell Miller HOPE Scholarship and ten are receiving the HOPE Scholarship.

Students earning a 90 or above in their academic subjects were Natalie Dunnahoo, Lydia Hausman, Nathan Lee, and Trevor McClure.

The Jim Dunn Memorial Award is presented by the Greenville United Methodist Church to a graduating senior athlete who has actively participated in a variety of sports.  He or she must have demonstrated good sportsmanship, maintained academic excellence, been involved in a variety of school activities, and exhibited a zest for life. The recipients of this year’s Jim Dunn Memorial Award are Lydia Hausman and Nathan Strickland.

The Flynt Jones Memorial Award is presented by the Fine Arts Department in memory of FRA student Flynt Jones and goes to someone who excels in the areas of art, music, or drama.  Flynt attended FRA from 1983 to 1986.  While at FRA Jones was active and very talented in both drama and music.  Upon his death in 1988 it was decided to honor his memory with the award.  This year’s Flynt Jones Memorial Award went to two deserving seniors who have both excelled in the area of art – Kendall McRae and Nathan Lee.

David Austin attended Flint River Academy from 1971-1980.  During this time he suffered many physical hardships but still attended school regularly and participated in activities with determination and cheerfulness. The David Austin Award is presented to a senior who best meets the intrinsic qualities that made David so special: integrity, perseverance, cooperativeness, positive attitude, and freedom from vanity. This coveted award is not given every year but only when it is felt that it is merited.  This year’s David Austin Award Recipient went to J. Thomas Perdue.

The Headmaster’s Service Award recognizes the student who has served our school and community in many ways during his or her school career performing duties not because they were required, but because he or she saw the need and did it. The recipient for this year’s Headmaster Service Award is Natalie Dunnahoo.

The Headmaster’s Leadership Award is presented to a senior who willingly has placed service to students, staff and school before personal interest or gain. This individual has assumed special roles of leadership and has modeled all of the positive qualities that we desire our young students to develop. The 2015 recipient exemplifies all the special characteristics inherent for successful adulthood. The Headmaster’s Leadership Award was awarded to Trevor McClure.

The Taylor-Foster Leadership Award is presented to a senior who has demonstrated qualities of leadership and exemplary behavior in all areas of student life. The recipient of this year’s award: Carly Adamson.

The Salutatorian Award is given to the student with the second highest grade point average in the class. Flint River Academy’s Salutatorian is presented with a cash award in the amount of $350 and is sponsored by Badcock Home Furniture and More of Manchester. The recipient of the 2015 Salutatorian Award: Nathan Lee.

The Greenville Banking Company Valedictorian Award is given to the student with the highest grade point average in the class. Since 1978 the Greenville Banking Company has honored Flint River Academy’s Valedictorian with a plaque and $500 cash award, and this year it was presented to Trevor McClure.

Honor Graduate Carly Adamson presented the academy with a generous check as a gift from the 2015 graduating class.

Board of Trustees chairman John Funderburk assisted Headmaster Pollard awarding the diplomas to the twenty graduates who then moved their mortarboard tassels from right to left. J. Thomas Perdue concluded the program with the benediction before the graduates began the recessional march to Pomp and Circumstance.  Before being swarmed by family and friends, the students tossed their mortarboards with the congregation applauding.