The 2017 Webster Youth Leadership program graduated its largest class to date Wednesday at Orleans on Main.
Twenty-five students spanning Glenbrook, Minden High, Lakeside and Doyline took part in the program, aimed at teaching high-school students important skills such as table etiquette, how city government operates, how law enforcement protects the citizens and about the history of both Minden and Webster Parish.
The graduating class gathered on Main Street Thursday, joined by Minden Mayor Tommy Davis, interim Webster Parish School Superintendent Johnny Rowland, Minden High Principal Robin Tucker, Lakeside Principal Denny Finley, Kyle Robertson and Carl Thompson representing the Webster Parish Tax Assessor’s Office and Greg Pearson and Jennifer Spurlock representing Minden Medical Center.
Graduates from Minden High were: Camryn Banks, Ben Branch, Jordan Cheatham, Jess Easley, Lauren Guthrie, Roman Holliday, Emilee Johnson, Cassady McKinney, Bobby Moorman, Kirsten Parker, Anna Tucker, Sara Watson and Hunter Wilkes.
Olivia Dalton, Abigail Gilbert, Mason Hood, Jenni Nguyen, Peyton Page and Madison Tanner of Glenbrook School received their certificates; Madison Couch, Deirdre Johnson and Ja’Darrian Morgan of Lakeside joined them as graduates and representing Doyline was Sarah Disotell and Haley Pepper.
At the conclusion of the certificate ceremony, Holliday thanked program director Terry Gardner for his dedication to the Webster Youth Leadership Program and presented him a T-shirt reading “Mr. Minden” across the back.
An emotional Gardner fought back tears as he briefly shared his thoughts on Minden and this year’s class, concluding the day by offering a few words of wisdom to the graduates.
“We have a lot to be proud of here,” Gardner said. “It’s that way because of the vision and leadership of current and past politicians and the work of many people, down to the people who cut the grass. As graduates, we hope you’ll go out and do great things and come back to Minden and put your talents to use… Visions don’t stop, they continue on.”