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Hats Off    |    by
Column dedicated to sharing news about community activities, service projects, and other events that are important to the life of the residents of our "mountain."

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published on 08/10/2006

Hats Off to the Class of 2022

By staff writer

Paige and Pris Riding in Parade
For a few hours on Tuesday, July 4th the Town of Signal Mountain was one community united in the spirit of independence and pride that is celebrated every year in the United States of America. The Independence Day Parade that traveled from the Alexian Village Inn to Althaus Park had in its ranks more people than those sitting on the sidelines, but that didn’t stop the cheering and waving and passing of candy. This annual tradition is clearly becoming a permanent event that is looked forward to each summer by young and old alike.

The week before another event that well over 500 people attended stirred the emotions and swelled the hearts of everyone in attendance. I am referring to the Groundbreaking Ceremony by the Friends of Signal Mountain High School followed by the Groundbreaking Festival sponsored by the Founders’ Fund Committee. I looked into the crowd and I saw the faces of children eager to be in the first graduating class; parents excited about their children completing their education in the community they are growing up in; families whose children attend private school; grandparents happy to see their children move back to the mountain so their children can benefit from the schools on the mountain top; and finally people without school-age children, but who want to support the community. Because that’s what it’s all about – community.

Anyone still hesitating on the need for a high school would be hard pressed to not get caught up in the spirit of community if they had attended these two events. Bruce Novkov, co-chair of the Friends of Signal Mountain High School said it best when he closed the ceremony with this prayer:

Heavenly Father, Yours is the plan and only with you do we work it out with joy. We know that you have a spiritual plan for our children. We also know that our children can better serve you when they are educated in academics. We pray the education our children receive will bring glory, praise and adoration to your name. We pray that our children will use their education to exemplify your holy character in all that you intend for them to do in each of their lives.

Bless our teachers as providers of knowledge, encouragement, love, discipline, and guidance.

Bless our administrators as coordinators and planners of curricula, morality and security.

Bless the support staff—house keeping and grounds keepers as they make our school beautiful and clean; and cafeteria workers as they provide nourishment.

Bless our secretaries, who cross all the “t’s” and dot all the “I’s.”

Bless the walls of this school. May they remain strong and sturdy and bear witness to the greatness being created in each child. May these walls protect our children from drugs and gangs.

Heavenly Father protect the craftsman, equipment operators and workers as they build our school. Bless the planners, architects and officials as they progress through the building process.

And bless our students. Lord, we pray that this school will be an environment that brings out the greatness of their character and highlights their strengths while helping them overcome their weaknesses.

Lord, we commend this building to you. In the name of our Lord we pray. Amen.

I look into the face of my granddaughter, riding with her in the parade, and see her waving the American Flag in one hand while waving the other hand to her family watching from the sidelines, and I am proud that the children her age on our mountaintop, the Class of 2022, will have the opportunity to graduate from Signal Mountain High School.