The journey, sometimes, is key

Senior Logan Holder receives a hug from his dad and football coach, Kelly Holder, after crossing the stage Saturday morning.

Halee Ratcliff, Carley VanHoy and Bree Hughes jump for joy after graduating Saturday. The three are headed off to the beach together.

The Class of 2015 celebrates.

The Bears’ choral group performs the national anthem.

Emily Pfitzner brings a portable fan to keep cool in the sunny, hot conditions.

Three-sport star Caleb Horton takes a quick selfie as he receives his diploma.

The Mount Airy High School glass of 2015 members were told Saturday that sometimes, the most rewarding parts of life isn’t always reaching your goals — it’s often what you learn on the journey.

Landon Mumford, president of the senior class, welcomed friends, family and students to the ceremony, and told them he entered his senior year with a significant goal in mind — to claim the state championship in wrestling.

Landon embarked on a journey to New Jersey that would take him to meet and train with wrestlers and other athletes, including former boxing world champion Mike Tyson. Landon made it to the state championship match but fell one point short, though he realized he had gained valuable knowledge.

“Its not about the goal, but about the journey: Even in your greatest defeats you will gain experience like no other,” he told those in attendance during the sweltering outdoor ceremony Saturday.

Co-Salutatorian Carly Clark described the class as being made up of people who were “caring, humorous, friendly and strong.”

Class Vice President Triston Mabry introduced Co-Salutatorian Anna Meritt, who went on to describe her experience at MAHS as being full of surprises. She never had interest in science until her freshman year. Anna spoke about how the biology, chemistry and physics teachers helped to challenge and change her life. After many college rejection letters, Anna learned that “those surprises served a purpose” as Anna will be attending George Washington University in the fall.

Superintendent Dr. Gregory Little announced the senior class received more than $1 million in scholarships, grants and aid; which was dispersed to more than 30 students.

Valedictorian Mary Glen Hatcher, the daughter of Hampton and Heather Hatcher, asked her fellow classmates “How could I possible share any real advice or the pressures of reality or and keys to success?”

Mary went on to joke about how her advice would be of no use as she had no common sense. “These are your memories and your story, write what you want.”

She invited her classmates to embrace the journey ahead, the new adventures they would take on, the friends and family supporting them, as each student was graduating because they did not do it alone.

The “humorous” group of seniors did not leave without a bang of a senior prank. The students TP’d several rooms and halls, but they didn’t stop there. The students also took the fire extinguishers and sprayed the halls and classroom — which had them spending hours afterward cleaning up.

Principal Sandy George, in closing of the graduation, addressed how much she loved this particular class. “I am going to miss you all, even though you did make that big mess on a night not too long ago.” George expressed her pride for all the students and all the joy and memories they brought to each other over their time at Mount Airy High School.

Sandy George addressed the class one final time “Remember you will always be connected as Mount Airy Bears.”

Eva Queen can be reached at or (336) 415-4739

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