SVRCS grads receive awards, diplomas, kisses and hugs
It was a little humid and stuffy as a full house attended the ceremonies to congratulate the 36 seniors as they accepted their high school diplomas.
No matter, there was a lot of excitement as the students marched into the building wearing tradtional green and silver colored robes and caps, many of them uniquely decorated by the wearer, and sat in one corner of the large room.
They listened to speeches by fellow classmates, school administrators and a former SVRCS teacher, Jeb Thompson. They heard school administrator Tracie Kennedy heap praise on them for a job well done and rose to attention as Broc Phillips played the National Anthem.
Thompson said he taught many of the graduates when they were in his fourth grade class, and pointed out personal memories of some of them while his students.
“As you prepare to take your first steps on this new journey, I guarantee you will be successful. You’ve been handed more than your fair share and perservered. Don’t be afraid to fail. Dreams are constantly evolving and at some point it’s going to come to all of you and you will find the path. Don’t let failures end your dreams. Embrace failure and find your dream,” Thompson said.
Class Salutatorian Ella Rossman said her high school career has been great… a wonderful experience.
“I’m not ready for this. I don’t want to go,” she stammered, adding humor throughout her speech.
“The next journey is upon us … a road trip with no destination. But this is only the beginning. Always keep moving forward. Always keep making memories. The future is worth it. Don’t give up,” Rossman told her classmates.
Valedictorian McKenna Fox shouted “We did it,” when she reached the microphone and reminisced about a concept the class learned all the way back to their freshman year.
“We learned that we are all so different, but so much the same. We all live different lives with different stories… different dreams, fantasies and desires. Calling it the “painting of our lives,” she said the paintings continue to grow as they continue to learn throughout their lives.
“Don’t be afraid to to keep learning, because as Albert Einstein said, ‘Once you stop learning, you will start dying.’ Don’t stop experiencing learning, being who you want to be and definitely don’t stop believing!”
Of the 36 young men and women who moved their tassels, seven were recognized as starting kindergarten at the charter school and remaining a student there through their senior years. Those students inlcude Jakob Deavor, Taylor Geisewite, Cheyenne Holdren, Hollis Householder, Dominick Kennedy, Carleigh Matter and Skyler Nixon.
The class also remembered one who has gone before them. Each graduate wore a pin on his gown. The pin showed a photo of Ahmad Anthony Lucinao, a member of the Class of 2021, who died.
The presentation of awards was carried out by William Deavor and Tracie Kennedy read the roll call as the students walked to the front and received their diplomas.
Before departing for the event, the graduates gathered outside for one last tradition — tossing their mortar boards high into the sky. And then it was time to leave the school that had become their home away from home for years.
There were hugs and tears, but mostly smiles and laughter as family and friends gathered for photographs with members of the Sugar Valley Rural Charter School’s Class 2021.