Some graduates have shared their lives since kindergarten
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 11, 2006 2:05 AM
MOUNT OLIVE -- Amid all the pomp and circumstance of graduation can always be found the giddiness of students readying to go out into the world and make it their own.
For 119 students at Spring Creek High School on Saturday morning, the day marked more than the rite of passage that comes with earning a high school diploma and turning the tassel on a cardboard cap. They make up the last class to attend school in the same building since kindergarten.
One of those was Hannah Lane.
"I'm real excited but it's bittersweet at the same time," she said as her classmates lined up for the ceremonies in Kornegay Arena at Mount Olive College. "I have been there for 13 years; next year I won't go back."
Summer for Hannah will also be fleeting, as she leaves June 25 to start classes at UNC-Wilmington. She said she aspires to do something in the medical field and is leaning toward becoming a plastic surgeon.
In her speech, salutatorian Janet Potter said, "Some people believe it is crazy that some of us have spent 13 whole years in the same building with the same people, but me, I don't think it's crazy because I consider you guys to be my family ... We care about one another, we support one another."
To lighten up the mood and play off her role as salutatorian, Janet chose to use a prop to capture the audience's attention. Encouraging her classmates to join her in saluting parents, teachers and others who contributed to their accomplishments, she wore a large foam finger as she spoke.
Valedictorian Amanda Bragg said she came to the occasion with mixed emotions -- happiness, sadness, pride and thankfulness.
Quoting Helen Keller, she said, "The saddest spectacle in this world is a person who has sight but lacks vision" and encouraged the audience to expand their vision of the world.
"Today brings tomorrow and tomorrow is the future. So in essence, our future starts today," she said. "We have no way of exactly knowing what the future holds. We only have a vision of how we want it to turn out ... Don't be a blind traveler on the road of life. Open your eyes and enjoy the ride."
Graduate Travis Snovel was able to enjoy the morning ride better once his final grades came in the day before.
"I'm just really glad I made it," he said. He is still weighing his options for the future, but said he will likely attend Wayne Community College and then transfer to a four-year school.
Dave Thompson was there to support son Chris.
"I can't believe he's graduating; it makes me feel old," he said.
While the occasion was exciting, it also held some sadness, Thompson admitted.
"It's been him and me for so long. All of a sudden he's old enough to move out now," he said. Chris plans to attend East Carolina University in the fall, he added.
Terry Fenwick came with husband Kirk and son Nate, a sophomore at Spring Creek, to see daughter and sister Christina graduate.
"It's really different being here," Nate said. "My sister's able to get out, do her own thing. I'm proud of her."
Mrs. Fenwick had a rush of emotion as the ceremonies were about to begin.
"It's a phenomenal experience to see all of your work come together -- 18 years -- for this to come together, makes us proud and elated," she said.
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