Richmond graduates ‘don’t know what lies ahead’

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

ROCKINGHAM — Richmond Senior High School Principal Keith McKenzie’s opening words to the crowd that filled Raider Stadium Friday night for the school’s 41st annual commencement exercise was about the weather.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Some of the 417 Richmond Senior High School graduates on Friday during the recessional around the track inside Raider Stadium.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Some of the 417 Richmond Senior High School graduates on Friday during the recessional around the track inside Raider Stadium.

Specifically, McKenzie said officials were keeping an eye on the path of the rain and lightning. For a few minutes, the second-year principal forgot about the wind until a gust swept in and forced his speech out of his hands. It was recovered, however, and that was about the only snafu during the evening as 417 seniors turned their tassels and finishing the evening as high school graduates.

Class of 2014 Salutatorian Caitlyn Dora Adams called the milestone “bittersweet” in part because classmates have spent years forging friendships and bonds to get them to this day. After receiving elementary and middle school educations that were defined partially by city boundaries, high school put everyone together.

“However, come August, every one of us will be leading a different path,” Adams said. “We don’t know what lies ahead.”

Adams encouraged graduates to not worry too much about others’ expectations but to “get on your four-wheeler and make your own.”

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Valedictorian Caroline Alane Bartlett recalled many of the tragedies, both manmade and natural, over the years. From the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and mass shootings at a Colorado theater and a Connecticut elementary school, as well as natural disasters in Japan and Haiti, Bartlett said the setbacks of this generation has made those who survived that much stronger.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com Brianna Michelle David, president of the National Honor Society.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
Brianna Michelle David, president of the National Honor Society.

“In this viciousness, we gained compassion,” Bartlett said, noting the losses “touched us all in ways that we will never forget.”

McKenzie — with speech firmly in his grasp — acknowledged that graduation might be “the most important success you have yet to achieve. You have proven hard work pays off.”

 

 

Filed in: Education, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News

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