Eastern Wayne High School graduation
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 10, 2007 2:01 AM
By PHYLLIS MOORE
News-Argus Staff Writer
Gary Price and his wife, Shirley, of Goldsboro carried a large star-shaped helium balloon as they made their way through the crowd to find a seat in Warrior football stadium Friday night.
The couple said they also had gifts in the car for their niece, honor graduate Kendra Flowers, to be given after the ceremonies.
"We're extremely proud. She's made us so proud," Mrs. Price said.
"Oh, Lord, yes, most definitely," her husband said. "She's going off to school at ECU."
Near the entrance, school staff hawked copies of the latest yearbook and videos of the graduation, while many took advantage of the water and cold drinks available at the concession stand.
Kevan McCance put in his order for a copy of the video. There to celebrate middle child Ryan Harris' completion of high school, McCance called the occasion a nostalgic one.
"It brings back memories, like 30-year-old memories," he said. "This is probably the first graduation I have been to since then."
With family in from Arizona, the proud father said the family's plans for the evening included going to Denny's. Seems the graduate, who plans to attend Wayne Community in the fall, "wanted to be able to go where we could get breakfast," McCance said.
Debbie Baker was accompanied by nieces Megan McDowell, a rising senior at Eastern Wayne, and 11-year-old Zhane Wade, who said she had "just graduated from Eastern Wayne Elementary."
Ms. Baker was there to support her twins, Eugene and Eugenia Baker, who will be going to Pembroke and A&T University, respectively.
"It's exciting. I'm overwhelmed. This is the last of my six children graduating," she said.
Megan said it was sad occasion as her cousins were "leaving me behind." As for her turn next year, she said, "I'm ready."
The school graduated 281 students Friday evening. There were 107 honor graduates, 38 of those N.C. Academic Scholars.
Principal Eugene Byrd presented diplomas to each student, with one exception. When N.C. Academic Scholar Natalie Taylor's name was called, Superintendent Dr. Steven Taylor quietly slipped out of his seat on stage to hand his daughter her proof that she indeed could now call herself a high school graduate.
Remarks were made by top students Sarah Compton, valedictorian, and Anna Wilkins, salutatorian.
Miss Wilkins used one word to describe her high school experience -- funny. She shared memories of her journey, then paused to capture the event by pulling out a camera and snapping a picture of the classmates seated before her.
"I wanted to freeze this one moment in time because I will never be able to get it back," she said.
Miss Compton had mixed emotions, charged by having to leave behind a place that has been a safe haven.
"These experiences have shaped us for our tomorrows," she said. "We have been equipped with the tools to be successful and great and most importantly to make a difference. ... Remember, we are the ones that will shape our future and our nation."
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