06/14/09 — 119 Spring Creek senior earn diplomas

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119 Spring Creek senior earn diplomas

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 14, 2009 2:00 AM

A standing ovation and thunderous round of applause Saturday morning greeted the one student at Spring Creek High School who was not able to stand for herself.

Lisa Mozingo is still confined to a wheelchair weeks after a devastating car accident. Principal Stephen Clingan walked off the stage, where Lisa was waiting, to present her diploma and give her a hug.

"It feels good (graduating)," she said after the ceremony as family and friends stopped to embrace and talk to her. "I didn't think I was going to be able to come but...

"(The audience response) made me want to cry. It made me really happy. I am doing good, doing good. I am very excited. I didn't think I was going to be able to make it, but I am glad that I came. The speech, I just don't know what to say."

The accident and her ongoing recovery efforts have "kind of rallied the community together," said Clingan of the close-knit school community. "She has done a fantastic job in recovery and physical therapy and she is just way ahead of schedule."

It had been her goal to attend the graduation, held at Mount Olive College, where she was one of 120 diploma recipients.

The senior class gift was a contribution for the materials and supplies for a new podium donated by Joseph Rousay, whose son Blake received his diploma Saturday.

"He did a wonderful, wonderful job with it," Clingan said. "He surprised us with it right before the awards season and they wanted to contribute to that."

Paul Hayes, senior class treasurer, announced the gift.

It was a day the Class of 2009 had been working toward for years, said Valedictorian Andrew Swedenburg, calling it their "rite of passage."

He challenged the graduates to be independent thinkers.

"Do not let others lead you away from yourself," he said, encouraging them to think of others and their impact on them.

While they may have been used to life's answers being supplied by parents and teachers, Swedenburg said the graduates will now be on their own, having to answer even harder questions.

"You are all capable of great things," he said. "Not great as set by the standards of the world, but great as set by your own standards and the standards of God."

Salutatorian Lauren Player said she has always thought school was there to "feed us mounds of information and facts."

"Fortunately, this is not the case," she said. "While it is important to learn the things we were taught, we also learn other things in high school that remain inside us for the rest of our lives."

She urged her classmates to never stop learning and never forget how hard they had tried and fought to be successful.

"Follow your dreams, accomplish what they say you can't and prove them wrong," she said.