Attention centered on 14 rows of Mount Airy High School seniors representing their families’ pride, hopes and joys in the first ever capping ceremony held Thursday morning in the school gymnasium. Assistant Principal Olivia Byerly opened the ceremony welcoming parents, students, staff and guests.
“We are excited to be introducing a new tradition as the Class of 2013 is recognized in Mount Airy High School’s inaugural capping ceremony,” said Byerly. “Each senior was asked to select a student or faculty member to present them with their graduation cap.”
She told the group the ceremony not only recognized senior accomplishments but was held to inspire underclassmen in their educational journey.
Mount Airy Commissioner Jon Cawley gave the invocation for the ceremony and tried to prepare students what graduation will bring to their lives.
“When that (graduation) comes, everything changes,” said Cawley. “Two things I have learned are that to be thankful is better than being positive. Thankful means you have included God as well as other people in order to feel that way. The second thing is that honesty without compassion is arrogance.”
Principal Dr. Sandy George introduced Mount Airy alumna Katie McCrary, who is a math teacher at Central Middle School.
“Some of you out there (in the audience) are thinking should I know her for some reason,” said McCrary. “I’m a graduate of the Class of 2000 and there are still a few of my teachers who walk the halls. I’m not a person by worldly standards who is wealthy or famous. I’m a girl from a small town who wanted to make a difference and cherished her years at this school.”
McCrary explained to the students how she appreciated “all the little moments from high school.” She told them the tradition of holding capping ceremonies began as a way to recognize the professionalism and conduct expected from nursing students, who wore their nursing hats as a sign they would conduct themselves with dignity to honor their schools.
“You’ve reached a personal milestone,” added McCrary. “You’ve have made it through 13 years of school and you are approaching adulthood.” She told the group many would leave home for the first time to attend college where they would experience new freedom and responsibilities.
“High school is one of your greatest of accomplishments. Enjoy your next six and a half weeks of school that are left. Things change when you leave this place,” commented McCrary. “There is the uncertainty of adulthood and friendships will fade. Take pride in where you come from. You have been prepared to go forth and make a difference.”
She reassured underclassmen by telling them they would make it and urged them to enjoy their time in high school because of the impact it will have on their lives.
“Each year I had I cherish. Graduation should be the ultimate goal for you guys,” concluded McCrary. “You are not the first or last to walk these halls.” She concluded by quoting from the song ‘Hope You Had the Time of Your Life’ by the group Green Day.
Reach David Broyles at email@example.com or 719-1952.