Walton High School’s Class of 2020 includes 386 students who graduated with honors, 200 of which graduated with a GPA greater than 4.0. Almost 450 of the new graduates have earned the HOPE Scholarship. Beyond HOPE, together the class has been offered more than $14 million in scholarships. Their college acceptances total over 2,000. The Walton graduates have also made it a mission to give back to others, volunteering more than 44,000 service hours over the past four years.
Walton celebrated the new school alumni and all their accomplishments at a July 20 commencement ceremony at Cantrell Stadium on the campus of McEachern High School.
“Walton has a long history of academic accomplishments, and you have upheld the legacy and traditions that classes before you have left. It hasn’t always been easy, but you have done it with excellence,” Principal Dr. Catherine Mallanda praised the new students.
Although the Walton graduates stand out for their accomplishments, what Dr. Mallanda is going to remember the most is how the students made a difference every day in the lives of people at the school, including her.
“I’ve enjoyed watching you perform whether it was band, chorus, orchestra, or drama. I’ve really enjoyed traveling with a lot of you. Some of my favorite memories are my Ireland and France chaperone groups. I will miss you guys very much,” Dr. Mallanda said.
Olivia Green’s words to her classmates also shined a light on the positive characteristics of her graduating class.
“The Class of 2020 is some the most welcoming and opening students I have seen thus far. You all are funny, kind, intelligent, and irreplaceable. I cannot wait to see what you do in the future. Although high school was quite a rollercoaster, I wouldn’t want to go on the ride with anyone else,” applauded the Walton Student Government Association Executive Board President.
Senior class president, Chase Lee, interjected humor in his speech as he reminisced about high school and how his class was the last group of students to walk the halls of the old Walton building before the Ed-SPLOST construction of the new facility. He also offered his classmates a challenge:
“It’s a challenge of a lifetime and may be the hardest challenge of them all. Make a lasting difference on this planet we call home. Be the positive force that puts the world on its head and makes the future brighter.”