06/10/08 — Charles B. Aycock graduation

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Charles B. Aycock graduation

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 10, 2008 1:56 PM

PIKEVILLE-- Wayne County's largest high school graduating class braved the heat that accompanied its outdoor ceremony Monday evening.

At Charles B. Aycock High School, 289 diplomas were handed out. Speakers' themes centered around the wonderful ride of high school, not unlike the magic carpet journey of their childhood movie hero, "Aladdin."

Salutatorian Kristen Prosser asked where her classmates' "grand adventure" would take them, using the analogy of the infinity symbol, a sideways number 8.

"I believe this perfectly characterizes our class," she said. "We are so anxious and ambitious when we speak of the life before us that we possess an infinite number of possibilities in which we can all achieve our goals."

Valedictorian Emilee Quinn reminisced about being part of the first generation to benefit from Disney classic movies released on video -- and their messages of self-discovery.

"There is a whole big world out there just waiting for us," she said. "We must embrace this, face and run with it, finding ways to make an impact everywhere we go, always lending a helping hand and making the most out of the people God has created us to be."

She reminded her audience that none of them should ever feel too old for such a fairy tale.

"Do not forget to believe in fairies and the magic that still exists in the world," she said. "Do not try to be something you're not, but do believe that you can be whatever you want to be."

Dr. Earl Moore, principal at CBA, called it the "greatest school in America" as he welcomed graduates to the 47th commencement at the school.

Despite the heat that welcomed early arrivals, who began lining up more than 90 minutes before ceremonies began at 7 p.m., the event ran smoothly.

Senior Kenan Stewart, with 13 years of perfect attendance since kindergarten, plans to attend the University of North Carolina in the fall on a Teaching Fellow scholarship.

Graduate Sam Dahlke admitted to being excited as the reality set in.

"Before, it's just calm and it doesn't feel like it's going to happen and now it's here," she said.

Sam, whose father recently retired from the Air Force, will move with her family to Wisconsin, where she will attend the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh in the fall to study pre-med.

"I'm going to miss this place," she said.

"It hasn't really hit me yet," said Jarrett Covar, who will attend Methodist College in the fall on a football scholarship. He plans to major in chemistry.

"I'm just glad to have accomplished this and glad that I'm finishing on a high note," said classmate Philip Myzk. "We'll be leaving a lot of good memories."

Myzk said he intends to major in zoology at N.C. State University.

Allison Balli was at CBA for the last year and a half, having moved here with her military family. She is used to moving, she said, but admitted to being both nervous and excited about the occasion.

In the fall, she said she will attend Wayne Community College to study accounting.

Prior to the ceremony, a steady stream of friends and family found their way to the bleachers, although some sought solace in shady areas that were at a premium.

Melba Dail of Goldsboro waited near the yearbook sales booth for family members to join her. She was there to see granddaughter Sterling Raynor receive her diploma.

"It's wonderful," Mrs. Dail said. "This is the fourth grandchild I have been to their graduation."

Her next grandchild, Sterling's brother Daniel, 16, will be a junior at CBA next year. He was nearby with classmate Charlie Ipock, whose brother, Ethan, was also graduating Monday night.

"It's way too hot," Charlie said.

Timothy and Ella Smith came to see youngest son, Rasheed, graduate.

"Finally," his dad said. "It's been a long journey."

An aunt and uncle from Mississippi drove 14 hours to witness the event. Richard and Glo Fairley arrived over the weekend.

"It's a happy moment for me," Fairley said.

His wife said she didn't believe it was as hot in Mississippi.

"We came up here for the heat," she said.