A summer of celebration for Wayne Country Day School, then the rest of their lives
By Ty Johnson
Published in News on May 27, 2012 1:50 AM
Wayne Country Day School's graduating senior Aaron Josiah Forde smiles with his classmates before receiving his diploma. Seventeen students received their high school diploma at the school late Friday morning.
Wayne Country Day School graduates throw their caps after receiving their diplomas. Seventeen students received their high school diploma at the school late Friday morning.
Freshly graduated less than five minutes before, Catherine Ford was already beginning to tire of the madness outside Wayne Country Day School's gymnasium.
Family members, friends and fellow graduates were clamoring for photographs together and just after Ms. Ford posed for one she was already being hailed to take another.
"I'm already tired of taking pictures," she huffed through the madness, but turned to see Tyler Hogan, her late soccer coach's son, waiting to hug her. She immediately got her second wind and pushed through the crowd to embrace the child she had come to regard as a little brother.
Similar scenes repeated themselves countless times across the patio as the celebration continued long after the school's 17 members of the class of 2012 had filed out of the gym.
"It's an amazing feeling," Aaron Forde said as his family and friends encircled him. "I finally did it."
Forde said he and his classmates were heading to a pool party to celebrate, but his plans beyond the summer will take him to UNC-Charlotte, where he'll study mechanical engineering.
He said he had always been passionate about engineering and had enjoyed math throughout grade school.
Posing for a photo, Woosung Kim held a bouquet of bright yellow flowers that stood out sharply from his graduation robes.
The flowers were a gift from his cousin, Yoojin Suh, who herself recently graduated from East Carolina University. She received her diploma from Wayne Country Day in 2007.
"I'm glad it's finally over with," Kim, 20, said, noting that language barriers had hindered his progress through school before. Now, however, with his diploma, he can return to Korea to serve his two-year stint in the military.
During the ceremony, Class President Raven Brock presented Headmaster Todd Anderson with $2,000 for the school's capital campaign -- the senior class gift.
The valediction address was given by Katherine Roethling, who credited Wayne Country Day with changing her life.
"Four years ago, I never would have imagined what it would be like to feel you have everything, but right now I feel so happy and so fulfilled," Ms. Roethling said. "I'm at a place that I honestly feel like I would not be had I chosen to attend a different school."
And then, with the conclusion of the school's 41st commencement ceremony, the 17 members of the class of 2012 grew the school's alumni total to 899.