Warriors welcome next step in life
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 13, 2010 1:50 AM
Saturday marked the day students at Eastern Wayne High School had awaited for 345,600 minutes, valedictorian Warner Underwood said.
"Those minutes were quickly filled with the worry of where to sit in the cafeteria on the first day, the fun found on the field of Warrior athletic events, the contentment of learning in the classroom," she said.
But sometime during those first few moments, choices had been made. And the greatest, she said, could be boiled down to one word -- family. A family that shared experiences but not DNA.
Commence-ment did not have to mark the end of that concept, she said.
"We are only just beginning. We are growing," she said. "We must move; we must spread our greatness; we must take our own path."
The school boasted the largest graduating class in the county, with 299 members.
Barbara Stiles turned out to see her first grandchild, Carson Daly, receive his diploma.
"It's a huge celebration for us," she said. "He's going to ECU. He has worn purple his whole entire life."
The day also marked a generational event, said Carson's dad, Michael Daly.
"I graduated from here, my wife graduated from here and now he's graduating," Daly said. Wife Allyson also works at the school, teaching honors AP English.
Like many parents, the occasion prompted a time of reflection.
"It just seems like the time just flies," Daly said. "But we feel like we raised him right. He makes good decisions. He's a fine young man."
Nancy Corriere set up a blanket away from the bleachers for younger daughter, Samantha, 6, and mom, Catherine Corriere, visiting from Worcester, Mass.
"We're all going to go out to eat and have a good time," Catherine said of the day's plans.
Katesha Dickens came prepared with two large balloons for her brother, Azaveus, who will be attending Livingstone College on a full football scholarship in the fall.
"I'm proud of him. He's an honor graduate, also," she said.
During the 45-minute ceremony, Joseph DiCesare, a senior class representative, introduced salutatorian Alex Lloyd, recalling "when he jumped out of a tree in a dinosaur costume" as part of a class project and how Alex once shaved his head and spelled out "EW" to show his pride in the school's swim team.
Taking on a movie-making theme, Lloyd encouraged his classmates to face the future with eagerness.
"And when times get you down I want you to not look in the rear view mirror of your past, but look forward, or you will never see the green light ushering you to a brighter future," he said. "I encourage you to make your own movie, to screenwriter with hopes for your future, which is as bright as you make it. Film with enthusiasm .... direct it according to your beliefs and missions ... edit it without social bias and influence. Be your own feature film."