PILOT MOUNTAIN — East Surry High School’s 2013 Graduation Program was a whole lot of graduating and just a little bit country.
Where: East Surry High School Athletic Field.
When: Friday at 7 p.m.
Number of graduates: 122
Speakers: Senior Class President Tyler Pardue, Student Body President Samuel Marsh and Principal Diane Beane.
What the Speaker and graduates said: Pardue opened his welcome speech by reminding his classmates to keep graduation in perspective.
“Today is one of the most important days of our lives, it took 13 years of hard work to get here. Everyone seated in front of me has the tools and talents to achieve their goals. It’s been a joy to complete this chapter of life with you. When the dust settles don’t forget to show everyone how a Cardinal takes on the world.”
Beane told the graduates their spontaneous rendition of Wagon Wheel was a “good surprise” and said they had been a class who was always full of surprises.
“We are here to celebrate one thing you have in common. This is the one and only day you will graduate from high school. The only day you’ll do the same thing all of you at the same time. Some of you worked harder. Some were faster. Some are with scholarships and some had more tardies than your other classmates combined. We are proud of the accomplishments of this senior class. It is an honor to share your accomplishments in and out of the classroom.”
She then announced a variety of academic and athletic honors the students had earned in activities which also included chorus, JROTC Raider competition and said the class had 20 graduates with a weighted Grade Point Average (GPA) of 4.0 or higher and a total of 66 had a 3.0 or higher weighted GPA. Beane said 96 percent of the class planned to continue their education after high school with 31 percent enrolling in a four-year college or institution and 65 percent enrolling in two-year schools. Four members of the class plan on joining one branch of the United States military and three members plan on entering the workforce. Beane said a little more than $2.3 million in scholarships and grants were awarded to the class.
“We have tried to give you the tools you will use for the future and it is time for you to do something with these tools,” added Beane. “We challenge you to show Cardinal pride by having a positive influence on the world.”
Speaker Samuel Marsh told his classmates he has enlisted in the United States Army and would soon be leaving Surry County for “a long time” and might possibly never see some of them again.
“We of the East Surry Graduating Class live in a technical world. We celebrate our successful journey, but our journey has just begun,” said Marsh. He told them to make their decisions and own choices and that each has the capacity to do great things. He told them they would think about quitting but to not quit and told them to set high goals.
“We have been told the sky’s the limit, but that is a lie. If it were true, why are their footprints on the moon,” asked Marsh. “The sky is not the limit.”
Overheard: Graduates singing “I’ll Fly Away” during speeches. Wolf whistles and air horns from the bleachers. Applause from parents, family and graduates. Cans of silly string clinking together. Laughter. A loud “Yee Haw…You grad a ma tated” with a thumbs up to a classmate.
What graduates did: Top student Keri Fulp received a medal for a 5.50 GPA and Lauren Thompson was second with a 4.8. While the senior prank was planned to be a Taylor Swift song, the students sang “Wagon Wheel” and showered themselves with silly string after being pronounced graduates.
Notables in Attendance: Board of Education Chairman Earlie Coe, Board of Education member Sue Stone and School Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.