Clear Fork graduates 2017 class

CLEAR FORK VALLEY — The 2017 Clear Fork Valley High School seniors proudly turned their tassels after being honored Sunday at graduation ceremonies at the school.

Students who had won honors were named, and class president Grant Hadley and class treasurer Mackenzie Wade and secretary Morgan Orr shared speaking honors.

2017 Clear Fork High School commencement ceremony. Photo by Don Tudor.


Twelve honor cord awards were given for outstanding performance in a particular area of study. There were ten students who had achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average for the year.

See more photos from Sunday’s graduation in our online gallery.

Class president Hadley told the crowd gathered in the school’s gymnasium that the year had been a phenomenal one. He said an “unlikely candidate” won election and there were a “multitude of issues” involving the United States and other countries.

He said the country became divided — conservative and liberal. But he said Clear Fork is not divided. He said the community showed “love and care” and he talked about how the area banded together when one schoolmate was lost. “Clear Fork: two towns, one team, one heart beat,” he said.

Wade said the community has been a “safe place for all of us.” She talked about leaving being “bittersweet” and has wondered if it will be “downhill from here?”

Orr said she remembers working through “heat waves at band camps” and thanked “those who pushed me.”

Wade and Orr ended their joint speech by saying they are not sure where they will go, in the long run, but they they “promise it won’t be boring.”

The Clear Fork band, under the direction of Jason Brasure, played lively music before the ceremony began. Later in the program the senior students who were band members played “Time of Your Life.”

The graduation ceremony was moved to the gymnasium when the weather forecast said there would be rain. Bleachers were full, and seating was arranged on the floor for people who might have had difficulty negotiating the risers to get seating.

Students were given different colored cords, depending on the honor they had received. Summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude students were introduced as were those who had gotten other honors.

The twelve honors cords were given to Mackenzie Wade, for being top English student; Jared Harp, who received three honors, for top math student, top social studies student and top technology student; Taylor Mowry, top science student; Devon Priess, top foreign language student; Andy Littleton, top vocational student at Clear Fork; Cayla Brown, top vocational student at Knox County Community College; Laura Kelley, top vocal music student; Dathan Liming, top instrumental music student; Darien Gottfried, top business student; and Hannah McCartney, top business student.