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Greene congratulates Perry Learning Center graduates

Special photo
Mundy's Mill High School Principal William Greene keynotes the Perry Learning Center's annual Celebration of Achievement.

Special photo Mundy's Mill High School Principal William Greene keynotes the Perry Learning Center's annual Celebration of Achievement.

“If it were not for the people in this room, and many others, some of you would not be here tonight,” William Greene told the 2011 graduating class of Clayton County Schools’ Eula Ponds Perry Learning Center.

Greene, who is principal of Mundy’s Mill High School, made the remarks during the annual “Celebration of Achievement” event for the graduates, and their supporters, on Dec. 15.

The Perry Learning Center is an alternative program provided by the Clayton County School District, and offers high school students, who are struggling with classes at their home schools, an opportunity to graduate with their class. The school district’s web site reports a graduating class of 270 for 2011.

Greene, a former director of the center, was called back as a guest speaker for the ceremony. His 20-minute speech offered inspiration for those in attendance, and was laden with anecdotes from African and American history.

He urged the graduates to find the smartest people they could, and surround themselves with them. “You will be challenged to do your best, and they will elevate your thinking,” he said to those who the packed gymnasium. “Smart people will challenge you to think harder, and in entirely different ways.”

Midway through his address, Green told seniors to applaud the many people, teachers, parents, and friends, who labored to make the evening possible.

The graduates were encouraged to choose their friends wisely, “For the company they keep, can determine the trouble they meet, or the success they will share,” Greene said.

He told students to let their haters be their motivators. “If they're not talking about you –– you're not doing it right!" he said.

The evening also included musical selections, the presentation of certificates and awards, and closing remarks by Dr. Melvin Blocker, current director of the Perry Center.