Just after a tumultuous 2020 when COVID-19 disrupted the two classroom instruction and graduation physical exercises, hundreds of seniors returned to normalcy in latest times by way of ceremonies celebrating both of those their academic achievements and conquering the pandemic.
However the coronavirus loomed more than the proceedings held at numerous campuses across Surry County, as was the scenario Saturday morning throughout Mount Ethereal Higher School’s graduation software.
“Wow, what a calendar year it has been,” Valedictorian Brooke Lankford advised a large group assembled on the school’s football area, saying COVID-19 experienced supplied an educational working experience in itself.
“I uncovered that being good can make all the change.”
This sort of reviews were echoed at other graduation plans all all around the county — collectively recognizing the truth that it has been a yr like no other, but the human spirit triumphed about adversity the moment yet again.
MOUNT Ethereal Substantial College
Diplomas have been awarded to 135 MAHS seniors Saturday early morning throughout a system that punctuated a victory arguably as big as any reached by the Bears soccer staff in the identical venue.
Senior Course President Peyton Harmon, one particular of 5 university student speakers on the plan, neatly summed up events of the past yr as “this most abnormal time in our lives.”
He went on to say that at periods in everyday living when every little thing appears to be to be heading properly, some unforeseen occasion can arise which disrupts even the most effective-laid of plans.
“COVID built that pretty obvious to me,” the Class of 2021 president noticed, while pointing out how good matters can continue to happen below these situation.
“We didn’t again down from the challenges of COVID,” Harmon mentioned of a person these consequence, as evidenced by the proud look of the graduates Saturday. “We did it!” he exclaimed.
One more speaker Tessa Stovall, the vice president of the senior course, provided a identical look at:
“While this university year has been just about anything but standard, we are all glad to commemorate this specific working day.”
Darius Walker, Mount Ethereal High’s scholar physique president, cited an included degree of satisfaction encompassing Saturday’s milestone, involving the actuality that the campus was opened to in-person learning previous August.
“We were being the only college in the point out of North Carolina to do so,” reported Walker, his remarks drawing loud applause from those assembled, which includes relatives customers and friends of graduates packing the stadium bleachers.
That distinction also was acknowledged Saturday by Dr. Kim Morrison, the superintendent of Mount Airy Metropolis Schools.
“I’m so grateful to every person who designed this materialize,” Morrison stated in the course of her time at the podium, exclusively praising faculty board customers who rendered the challenging determination to carry on with in-person understanding.
NORTH SURRY Substantial College
North Surry graduated 163 seniors Saturday in Charles Atkins Memorial Stadium.
Isaac Riggs, scholar physique president, spoke to his fellow graduates about the relevance of staying variety. He shared activities of missionary outings taken through his youth to Ecuador and the Dominican Republic and how the great importance of becoming form to 1 a further was a little something he learned via these visits.
“I want us to know that the tiny issues subject — try to have a constructive influence on someone’s day,” Riggs stated.
“We as ‘regular’ people do not usually have to give enormous quantities of cash or carry out awesome functions of generosity, but can just be variety and do the small factors — this will have the major effects, from time to time a lot more than you know.”
Riggs was acknowledged as the salutatorian of the NSHS Class of 2021. He will be a college student at Lenoir-Rhyne University in the slide.
James Jessup was the valedictorian of North Surry’s Course of 2021 and also the senior class president. In addition, he served as Student Government Association president at Surry Local community University this earlier yr.
Jessup graduated from SCC ahead of he essentially did from high faculty and is headed to the College of North Carolina in the drop to finally pursue a occupation in law.
He spoke to his classmates about looking to the long term.
In his speech, the valedictorian quoted Malcolm X: “Education is the passport to the long run.”
Jessup also remaining classmates with a bit of his individual suggestions, expressing that “regardless of the pathway we take, we all have the possible to make a distinguished influence.”
EAST SURRY Significant College
Perseverance was a central theme of the East Surry graduation ceremony held within David H. Diamont Stadium Friday night.
“It’s challenging to overlook the elephant in the room when we’re speaking about our superior college expertise,” mentioned Colton Allen, East Surry senior course president. For 135 graduating seniors, attending their remaining calendar year of substantial faculty in the course of a pandemic posed all new difficulties on top rated of the common trials learners deal with.
The two university student speakers — Allen and College student Entire body President Chloe Hunter — as very well as Charity Rosenhauer, who executed Riley Clemmons’ tune “Keep on Hoping,” pressured the importance of hardly ever offering up when faced with seemingly difficult odds. An excerpt from Rosenhauer’s track perfectly expressed this concept to those people in attendance: “Lift your eyes, you are gonna be alright. You’ve received the toughness to continue to keep on likely, so keep on hoping.”
The college yr commenced with distant understanding, transitioned into alternating faculty times in which college students uncovered in cohorts, then slowly and gradually but definitely created its way back again into a extra regular environment that permitted graduation to take area.
Students ended up able to expertise all the things a person would assume to see at a graduation ceremony together with the loud close friends and households that loaded the bleachers, the smiling, and maskless faces of pupils as they walked throughout the phase to shake fingers with (or upper body bump) Principal Jared Jones, as effectively as the cloud of silly string that filled the air immediately after the declaration of graduation.
East Surry was also ready to thoroughly honor the two pupils with the best cumulative GPAs. Jacob Michael Haywood was recognized as valedictorian and Chloe Noelle Sloop as salutatorian.
SURRY CENTRAL High College
At Surry Central Superior School’s ceremony Thursday night in Dobson, some graduates danced throughout the phase or fluttered flags as capes while crossing the threshold to their publish-higher faculty futures.
“It is no top secret that the past a few semesters have been tough,” Principal Misti Holloway advised them.
“You rose to these worries and you have conquered them.”
This year’s senior class will disperse with 122 pursuing write-up-secondary instruction, 6 coming into the armed forces and 46 joining the workforce.
SURRY EARLY School
Finding a soar on graduations this yr with the initially local ceremony was one particular of the newer instructional establishments in the county, Surry Early College High College.
Marking its 2021 graduating course had been 64 learners who attained that academic milestone.
This was the 11th Surry Early Higher education Substantial School graduation ceremony, with college students earning each a superior school diploma and a two-yr school diploma. The 64 college students ended up honored in in a ceremony held on May well 21.
Two of the class’ major pupils ended up the highlighted speakers, remembering their many years together at the faculty as properly as encouraging classmates to look forward to a vibrant upcoming.
The senior speaker was Mason Elijah Melton and the “super” senior speaker, Paloma Garcia-Serrano.
SURRY Online MAGNET Faculty
Surry On-line Magnet Faculty not only celebrated the milestone attained by its seniors Friday afternoon, but the reality that they represented the initial-at any time graduating class of a unique establishment.
“You placed a mark on heritage,” unique speaker Dr. Jill Reinhardt advised the seven departing learners in the course of their graduation exercise routines at the Surry County Government Center in Dobson — a tiny team with a large achievement,
Surry On line Magnet College experienced made available them the alternative of finishing a high university education through strictly on-line means stressing personalized finding out through one of a kind and versatile opportunities ideal by pupils for several factors.
They did so with “no classroom walls, no steel desks and no cafeteria,” mentioned Reinhardt, who retired from Surry County Educational institutions in January but had served as a critical member of a development and implementation staff to make the on the web magnet thought a truth.
Nevertheless lacking walls, the college does have a mascot, the Trailblazers, which was referred to a number of periods through Friday’s graduation.
Reinhardt stated the person graduates could have begun their educational careers as Cedar Ridge Elementary University Panthers or Westfield Wildcats, but ended up ending as Trailblazers — signifying the uniqueness of the new on the internet community school that was groundbreaking the two domestically and statewide.
The pupils were men and women “who took a likelihood on modify and development,” mentioned the commencement speaker, who extra that some considered the school could not get off the floor for the duration of a pandemic and achieve what it has in such a small time.
The graduates also were praised Friday by their principal, Kristin Blake:
“You have trailblazed via your education and everyone who is in this article these days is happy of your accomplishment.”
MILLENNIUM Constitution ACADEMY
Millennium Constitution Academy introduced its fourth graduating class at the yearly graduation ceremony on Saturday.
This year’s class is the school’s largest with 34 graduates, 80 % of whom are going to a college or university or college, together with an Ivy League faculty, with the harmony heading instantly into the workforce.
MCA’s commencement’s topic was “The Moments We Are Offered,” a reference to how the college students, university and people courageously dealt with the pandemic, even with all the challenges offered, and concluded a remarkably prosperous faculty yr.
Saturday’s keynote speaker was Stan Jewell, president and CEO of Renfro Brands, a organization that also dealt correctly with the moments it was provided when Renfro switched from sock production to mask production and literally masked Mount Airy and numerous other towns.
Jewell’s handle available seem suggestions to the graduates and all individuals existing. He stated it issues not so significantly the place a person goes in his or her life, but how they acquired there.
The speaker inspired each pupil to journey through existence with authenticity, currently being real to them selves, and to have curiosity and grit and work really hard in all that they do.
Contrary to past year’s commencement ceremony, which was held out of doors as family members watched from their autos, this year’s software took position in MCA’s upper college gymnasium.
Graduates had been confined to six guests every, and all attendees had been masked.