By: Terry Harris | Email: Click Here
Posted: June 27, 2019 | 9:44 a.m.
SURRY – The 2019 Surry County High School Commencement Exercises began with students in their blue and gold robes marching in past a capacity crowd – many bearing colorful flowers and sometimes humorous sayings atop their mortarboards. They ended with the singing of the School Song. Everything in between was a reflection of creativity and warmth.
Following the opening ceremonies, Salutatorian Zaria Hardy delivered a creative address on The ABCs of Life. After asserting to the class that it is important for each of them to take the ABCs of Life on the next step of their life’s journey, she brought out a chuckle when she remarked, “But life is not always systematic, so we’ll start with the end of the alphabet. She then led them through desirable traits beginning with “Z – Graduates must be Zealous when reaching the top – Zeal provides us with fuel to remain passionate about our future.” She ended with “ A – A is for Attitude. With an attitude of gratitude doors will open up and opportunities will come your way.”
Valedictorian Kamryn Godsey also brought humor into her address, and urged her classmates “Do not be afraid to speak beyond your comfort zone… Challenge your fate, by throwing in a belief that you will do something that seems wild for you so that if you happen to take one step back you have increased your chances of staying ahead.”
Following their talks, Jalen Wright introduced the keynote speaker, Mary V. Elmer, Special Projects Manager of the North Carolina Department of Instruction and a 2008 graduate of SCHS. Elmer used illustrations from her own life to make her points and summarized her speech saying, “My point is never stop learning and allowing yourself to grow as a person. Listen to fate’s calls to help guide you down the right path. Build yourself a network and a support system when you feel at home and be yourself in your own skin. Never underestimate who is watching you and who recognizes your hard work. Try to be the best version of yourself and allow yourself to try to find “my still ever- exclusive work-life balance.”
At the end of her address, scholarship recipients were recognized, along with the amounts of the various awards earned by the seniors, and to wild applause, Assistant Principal Courtney Ward announced that the total of all scholarship and financial aid award offers for the class of 2019 amounted to $3,654,202.00.
The program ended with the traditional singing by all 59 new graduates – joined by many graduates from previous years – of the school’s “Alma Mater.” Finally, with a few tears and much laughter, the new graduates first went to the media room to receive their actual certificates and then dispersed to the front lawn to mingle with family and friends, putting the cap on 2019 SCHS Commencement Exercises together, for the last time, as a class.