The North Surry High School 2014 graduation Saturday morning at Charles Atkins Stadium was, in the words of Principal Neil Atkins, “a celebration of an accomplishment that will last a lifetime.”
Atkins’s welcome speech to the 195 graduates and their families opened by recognizing Board of Education Chairman Earlie Coe, board members Brian Moser, Clark Goings, Superintendent Dr. Travis Reeves, Assistant Superintendent Dr. Terri Mosley and Director of Secondary Education Dr. Jill Reinhardt.
Student Executive Council President Katelyn Hodges’ address to the senior class centered on moments of impact which define persons.
“Graduation is a time to reflect on the moments we have experienced at North Surry High School,” said Hodges. “As seniors we can reflect on times we hadn’t expected and learned from them. During the next few years we will make the most important decisions of our lives. It is no longer up to a faculty member or teachers to make sure we are doing our best work. It is solely up to us and how we choose to make our life.”
She told her classmates she was proud of each of them and challenged them to not only cherish the past but create what will become new memories.
“I am here today to tell you the diploma you are about to receive will do nothing for you,” said Senior Class President Carlos Flores in his farewell to the senior class speech. He told them a diploma could not be traded in for cash, wasn’t edible and would not go on a job interview for them. He said the diploma signified they had expanded their minds, sacrificed sleep and never gave up and they were prepared to “go forth into a new world.”
Flores told his fellow Greyhounds they could let the fear of failure and judgment stop them but they must step out on their own and take risks.
“All of your goals are out of your comfort zone. Nothing is easy,” said Flores. “Do what makes you great, not what makes you happy. Get up and fail again. Without failure what is success? You don’t have to be fearless just don’t let fear stop you. No matter what you do I wish you the best. I look forward to living in the world you will create. May the best of your todays become the worst of your tomorrows.”
Atkins announced Samuel Bracky Holder as class valedictorian with a grade point average (GPA) of 4.902 and Caleb William Ramey was named salutatorian. Ramey’s GPA is 4.871. Atkins also said 80 percent of the class members planned on furthering their education, 27 percent would continue to a four-year institution, 53 percent would go on to two-year colleges and 17 percent of the class planned on entering the workforce. He said 3 percent would join a branch of the military, 26 had weighted GPAs of 4.0 or higher and 90 had GPAs that were 3.0 or higher. The class has received a total of $3.2 million in scholarships.
Members of the North Surry High School Junior Officers Training Corps performed color guard duties with Will Easter singing The National Anthem and Sandy Beam performing the North Surry Alma Mater, as arranged by Blake McCraw.
The junior marshals for the commencement exercises were Sydney Atkins, Jordan Badgett, Kelsey Badgett, Alex Bowes, Emma Cassell, Erin Draughn, Jacob Goins, Aubrey Hall, Hannah Harrison, Rachel Hull, Taylor Mundy, Logan Phillips, Devin Puckett, Riley Roundy, Cameron Shore, Mason Taylor and Corbin Willard.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-719-1952 or on twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.