2018-05-30 / Front Page

SRO ECHS grads turn tassels

Early County High capped another “great year” Saturday with commencement services for the Class of 2018 in the Tommy Whitehurst Gymnasium.

The 158 graduates of the Class of 2018 who marched across the stage to receive their diplomas were a big part of ECHS’s achievements over the past several years.

Many of the Class of 2018’s 36 honor students took part in the commencement services, including Valedictorian Courtney Keith and Salutatorian Meerah Patel who both paid tribute to their fellow classmates and challenged them to succeed in their future endeavors.

Valedictory address

Courtney Keith opened her remarks quoting Roy E. Disney... “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are.”

“The decisions we have made since kindergarten are what have determined where we are today,” she told her classmates pointing to the initial statement of a poem she recently came across... “Everything I need to know, I learned in Kindergarten.”

By the time I finished reading the poem, I became enthralled by the profound truth behind such a simple statement and how all of those things still apply to our lives today.

I reminisced on the lessons that I remembered learning as a kindergartner...

Everyone is blessed with different talents and that’s okay... we just may not have discovered them yet.

You’re someone’s example. The actions we take will not only affect us, but also influence others. We should be mindful of our actions on this new journey. You never know who may be following in your footsteps.

Jesus Loves ME. I remember joyfully singing my heart out saying, “Jesus loves me. This I know! For the bible tells me so.” I learned that I was loved before I was ever born. Since then I have had a relationship with Him that I intend to have until the day I die and forever more! Who would have thought a children’s song could have such an impact.

Timing is important. I distinctly remember a moment where talking and playing had consequences. At the end of the school day, I was too busy playing that I didn’t hear the bus call. I missed the bus. However, I did learn an important lesson. There is a time to talk and there is a time to listen. There is a time to work and a time to play. We are now entering adulthood. Be conscious of time, and don’t let life pass you by.

Treat others the way you want to be treated! This is the golden rule! We learned it in kindergarten, and it’s just as applicable today.

We learned how to learn in kindergarten. We started learning the alphabet which turned into words which became sentences. Learning requires dedication, persistence, and application. None of us were born with the knowledge we have today. It is something we worked hard to attain.

My point is some of the most valuable things we can take with us, aren’t necessarily just the extensive math and science formulas, or the history dates. There is so much more!

My prayer for you, Class of 2018, is that you strive to reach your fullest potential while maintaining the basic values we learned in kindergarten.

Salutatory address

Family and friends here to wish us well swelling with pride, faculty and staff feeling a sense of accomplishment. As graduates, we join them in these emotions.

These wonderful emotions are well deserved; however, many of us are also feeling sense of sadness because this is the last time we will be together.

Many of us are feeling apprehensive about the trials of the future, and many of us are feeling a quiet sense of loss because we are leaving the safety and comfort of the only environment we have ever known.

Patel also noted the feelings of pride and joy, knowing because of what we have been through and what we have accomplished that we can press forward in our lives and face whatever awaits us.

These caps and gowns symbolize a long and arduous journey that enabled us to believe and achieve. We have accomplishments and victories that have astounded everyone, including ourselves.

We were not always successful, and many of the lessons we were taught required us to encounter our share of failures. Winston Churchill said “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.”

While the change is going to be hard, I know that you all have been built with the strength and skills to succeed. John A. Shedd said “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.”

All of you were made to do great things, and I can’t wait to see your wonderful accomplishments.

These past four years have been some of the best years of my life, and I thank my classmates and the staff for that. We have made memories and friendships that will last a lifetime.

As we walk out of the doors today, I want all the class of 2018 to remember to embrace life and whatever challenges may come without doubt or hesitation because this is our world and we were built for it. I wish all of you the best of luck in your future endeavors.

See FULL graduation speeches at www.earlycountynews.com.

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