Southern Wayne High graduates turn tassels at commencement
By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 16, 2010 1:46 PM
Kobi Hood gets a big kiss from his mother, Rita, after he graduated from Southern Wayne High School Tuesday night.
MOUNT OLIVE -- Mary Hussey wasn't about to let a little thing like recovering from a broken ankle keep her from watching her grandson and Southern Wayne High School senior, Myron Roberts, graduate Tuesday night.
She slowly made her way down the corridor at Kornegay Arena at Mount Olive College on Tuesday evening.
" I told him if I had to come in a wheelchair that I would be here," she said.
Water stations were set up in several locations outside Kornegay Arena for the 224 candidates for graduation. Several students sipped on bottled water and some sought relief from the heat by holding small, battery-powered fans near their faces.
Quincy Aycock of Dudley was carrying his mortarboard in his mouth as he adjusted his gown while walking to join a group of students.
"I am a little nervous, but I will get through it," he said. Aycock said he was ready to finish school so that he could "enjoy the summer with no problems of going back to school for a while."
"I am going to be working," he said. "I am not sure what just yet. I have a job application, but I will try to get two or three more. I am going to try to go onto Wayne (Community College) and get my grades right and then try to transfer to somewhere else. It is either going to be computers or working on cars. I love cars.
Shaniequa Dixon of Dudley was on the phone with her mother, who was on the other side of the parking lot.
"She is writing on my car 'Congratulations Class of 2010,'" she said.
Miss Dixon, an honor graduate, said she was nervous, but wasn't really sure about what.
Her summer break won't last long, in August she will begin classes in Raleigh where she is considering training for both cosmetologist and medical assistant.
Despite the size of the class, the ceremony lasted just over hour. Afterwards, it was a time for hugs, kisses and photos.
Salutatorian Holly Jones said in her graduation comments that she thought most of members of the Class of 2010 have their futures figured out.
"Whether we are going to college, joining the military, or going to work until we get everything sorted out, all of us will succeed," said. "T.S. Elliott once said, 'Success is relative: It is what we can make of the mess we have made of things.'
"Mr. Elliott was right, success comes from cleaning things up after we have made a mess. We cannot succeed until we fail at least once, but all of us have succeeded."
She told her fellow seniors they could hold their heads up and proclaim they have succeeded.
"No matter what happens after this day, we have made something of ourselves," she said. "Today we celebrate our achievements with friends, family and teachers. Today we rejoice that our futures lay before us. No matter how far apart we are, no matter how many of us move away, we will all be forever connected by this day.
"I will miss you all and I hope that today will not be the last time we are all together," she said.
"For many of us, these past four years have been a tireless, yet productive journey," said Joshulyn Johnson, the class valedictorian and student government association president. "We have finally come to this momentous end. As we look back, let us not forget the memorable events that have occurred during our time at Southern Wayne."
Quoting Shakespeare's Macbeth, she said, "'Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage and then is heard no more.' I beg to disagree. Martin Luther King Jr. and Susan B. Anthony are examples of individuals whose actions and accomplishments have stood the test of time.
"Fellow classmates life is our stage. We can excel in any arena whether it is college, military, or the workforce. We can dazzle our audience by giving them a memorable performance. We have the potential to be exceptional individuals because we live in extraordinary times.
"Class of 2010 we must take advantage of these extraordinary times," she said. "The audience is seated, the curtain call has been made, and it is time for us to step into the spotlight."
After the tassel-turning ceremony, Miss Johnson returned to the podium for parting comments.
"Congratulations graduates," she said. "We would like to thank our honored guests for gracing us with your presence. A special thanks to the Southern Wayne staff. You have helped us to gain responsibility for our actions and prepared us for the road ahead. Last, but not least, we would like to thank our parents. This is your day as well.
"Thank you for putting up with our mood swings and our panic attacks. Most importantly, thank you for your concern and your willingness to always give an encouraging word. We honor you. To the Class of 2010, keep dreaming, keep believing and always keep your Saint pride alive. Until we meet again."