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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Former student gives advice during banquet

Friday, March 18, 2011

Clay City High School Principal Jeff Bell stands with Senior Caroline Beyers after she received a $5,000 Greenwell Scholarship. This scholarship is given to the student who shows extraordinary scholastic achievement, leadership qualities, community involvement and has future plans of attending a college or university. Jessica Murray Photo. [Order this photo]
Instead of pearls of wisdom, former Clay City All-Star student Shannon Fritz shared "irritating grains of sand" with current Clay City students at the academic letter banquet.

"I don't know if I have any pearls of wisdom since I've only been out of high school for 17 years. But if you know anything about pearls, they begin as grains of sand that irritates the inside of an oyster. The oyster coats the sand with layers and it eventually forms a pearl," Fritz said.

The banquet was held Thursday, at the First United Church of Christ.

Fritz opened by telling a personal story about her former English teacher Sheree Fell, who still works for Clay City. Fritz said when she was in high school Fell turned 32 years old, and she thought Fell's "life was over." However, Fritz found herself in the same position only 17 years later.

Shannon Fritz
Fritz is now a guidance counselor at Greencastle High School. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Science Education from Indiana State University. Later, she earned a Master of Education with a concentration in School Counseling.

Fritz provided five "grains of sand" in total.

She told students to allow their lives to be fluid, flexible and let their goals grow and changing as they grow and change.

Her second was that regrets are inevitable, but good, because they form as a result of self-reflection.

"When you know better, you do better," Fritz said.

Fritz quoted writer Ralph Waldo Emerson for the third grain.

"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded," Fritz said.

First Financial Bank Branch Manager Meghan Shidler (right) presents the All-Star plaque to Clay City High School Principal Jeff Bell to commemorate the students who received an academic letter or bar at Thursday evening's honors banquet, which was sponsored by First Financial. Jessica Murray Photo. [Order this photo]
She encouraged the students to surround themselves with people who make them feel good and inspire them to become the best version of themselves.

Fritz's last "grain of sand" was that words are powerful.

"The words you say to someone may be forgiven and forgotten, but I guarantee that you will remember what you say," Fritz said.