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June 4, 2014

Saint Camillus legacy lives on

Two 2014 valedictorians began their education at former academy

CORBIN — By Kristina Smith/ Staff Writer

Savannah Durham began her graduation address to her classmates with the typical thanks to family, friends, and God — but what wasn’t so usual was a quick blurb of gratitude toward St. Camillus Academy.

The doors at St. Camillus have been closed for more than a year, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the school has taught its last lesson.  

Graduation ceremonies for Laurel County high schools were held Saturday, and two of the five valedictorians started their education with St. Camillus. They both said St. Camillus played a role in their success.

South Laurel’s Durham, 18, and North Laurel’s Ollie Hensley, 18, attended St. Camillus together through the eighth grade.

Hensley and Durham said the adjustment to public school was hard with the vast variety of people they met, but they kept in mind the lessons that St. Camillus had taught them and they were quickly excelling.

“St. Camillus definitely taught you a lot about core values,” Hensley said.  Those core values include placing importance in family and God, along with just simply being a good person.

“At St. Camillus we were taught an enormous amount of respect (toward our teachers), and I didn’t see that from kids at South,” Durham said.

But that wasn’t the only difference the two girls experienced at high school. They also say the curriculum at St. Camillus was more rigorous than what they encountered in high school.

Durham said a textbook she used at South Laurel in ninth grade was one she had used at St. Camillus in seventh grade.

However, Durham and Hensley are grateful for the hard work ethic that their teachers instilled in them at St. Camillus.

“St. Camillus was like a close-knit family.  The relationships that I took away from there are the most important,” Hensley said.

“I wouldn’t be valedictorian if it wasn’t for St. Camillus,” Durham said.

Durham hopes to be a biomedical engineer now that she has graduated.

Hensley will attend Lindsey Wilson for pre-veterinarian studies.

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