06/10/12 — After years, Spring Creek High School grads say goodbye

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After years, Spring Creek High School grads say goodbye

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 10, 2012 1:50 AM

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Spring Creek High School senior Janna Price smiles as she accepts her diploma from Principal Stephen Clingan during the graduation ceremony Saturday morning.

MOUNT OLIVE -- Four-year-old Aiden Howell buried his face in his mother's graduation gown, too shy and too tired to face the crowd.

"He has told me, 'I am so proud of you, Mama," said Brenda Carrillo of Seven Springs, who just minutes earlier had walked across the stage to receive her diploma from Spring Creek High School.

Ms. Carrillo was among the 123 seniors to graduate Saturday morning during a 45-minute ceremony held at Kornegay Arena on the campus of Mount Olive College.

Afterward, the graduates gathered outside for hugs and congratulations from family and friends. Many posed for photos, while others couldn't wait to shed their shoes and hot gowns.

"It feels like it is not real -- like I shouldn't be here," said Ms. Carrillo, who has attended Spring Creek since sixth grade. "It is completely, I don't know, not real. I am so proud of myself though. I plan to go to (Wayne Community) college for cosmetology and then something bigger in the nursing area. I am not sure what yet though."

But first she plans to get a full-time job this summer.

"We have a couple of graduation parties to attend and family suppers, so we have a busy day ahead of us," she said.

Graduate Donnie Rowe of Dudley has attended Spring Creek since kindergarten and has known most of his classmates since he was about 5 years old.

Rowe, who plans to go to ECU to study accounting in the fall, was surrounded by his parents, sisters, uncle, aunt, grandmother and cousins with two reasons to celebrate this weekend.

"I tried to bring the whole family," he said. "Tomorrow is my birthday. I am happy. I was nervous. When I got up there I forgot what I was supposed to do. We were supposed to shake hands with the principal and then smile into the camera. I almost forgot to smile into the camera, I was that nervous. Man, I am a loss for words. This is unbelievable."

For valedictorian Sara Boltinhouse it has all been a matter of time -- time spent in many different ways in school.

"In kindergarten, we used our time to take naps, field trips, and participate in field days," she told her classmates. "As high school students, the majority of our time was used to study for tests, finish projects and complete homework.

"Through it all we somehow found the time to make lifelong friends, participate in various clubs, and join different athletic teams."

Miss Boltinhouse asked her classmates what they would spend their time doing for the rest of their lives.

"Keep in mind that the average lifespan of an American is 77 and a half years," she said. "Thirty of these years you will be fast asleep, three of these years you will be on the toilet, one and a half years you will search for things you can't find, half a year your eyes will be glued to the TV watching commercials, nine and a half weeks you will be heartbroken, seven and a quarter weeks you will be deciding what to wear, six weeks you will be waiting at traffic lights, two weeks you will be wondering what happens after death, and two weeks you will be looking inside the fridge.

"If we do the math, as most of us are already 18, that only leaves us about 22 and a quarter years to do something worthwhile with our time. Use the 22 and quarter years you have left to do something positive for your family, your community, or even to better yourself."

Salutatorian and class vice president Zachary Price said it was time to honor the Class of 2012, marking the end of one journey, and the start of the next.

"We have each been given the tools needed to venture out into this world and go where we want to go and be what we want to be," he said. "The challenge is this -- will we use them? We cannot be afraid to take on new and bold challenges; we must have the courage to chase after our dreams no matter what obstacles we encounter."

Price said he and his classmates have been asked their entire lives what they wanted to be when they grew up.

"We always set the goal for ourselves high, not concerned with challenges that we may have to face," he said. "That is the same mind-set we should still have now. We need to set our future goals high and strive to become whatever it is we desire."