06/09/13 — As grads move on, SCHS is home

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As grads move on, SCHS is home

By Josh Ellerbrock
Published in News on June 9, 2013 1:50 AM

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Robin DeVeaux hugs her son Meleke DeVeaux after the Spring Creek High School commencement Saturday.

Spring Creek High School valedictorian Daniel Larimore decided to do something a little different Saturday morning during his school's commencement ceremony. He ripped up his prepared speech on stage.

"Good speeches come from the heart. They really do, that's why I got my second copy right here," Larimore said, as he pulled the folded pages out of his front shirt pocket and proceeded to speak to his classmates assembled in Kornegay Arena on the Mount Olive College campus.

"I could not be up here today without each and every one of you because you have really pushed me to be my best. In closing, I issue you a challenge: strive to reach your goals, always do your best, and discover your definition of success and achieve that success," he said.

After Larimore's speech, the graduates stood, and 110 young men and women approached the stage after being called to accept the result of four years of hard work -- a piece of paper that reflected their high school experiences.

The crowd watched patiently. Some mothers cried. Others clutched cameras or smartphones so they could capture the signature moment when their son or daughter received his or diploma. The graduates received the leather bound certificates and returned to their seats with smiles on their faces.

Finally, as the last student was handed a leather-bound certificate and sat down smiling, the order was given for them to turn their tassels, officially turning them from students to graduates.

Once outside, more pictures were taken. In one area, three graduates -- Ian Ladd, Luke Miller and Daniel Krentz -- were hamming it up in front of the camera.

The three all plan on pursuing different career paths through athletics. Krentz isn't entirely sure on the details. On Saturday, he said sports management.

"It changes every week," he said. "I just want to do something sporty."

For the three young men, graduation is a little bittersweet.

"It's a horrible relief," he said. Krentz agreed.

"Spring Creek High School will always be home," he said.

"You can't talk bad about Spring Creek when I'm in the room," Ladd added.

Nearby, brother and sister pair Shatonia Kenion and Rodney Lanier, were just finishing up photos with the family.

Ms. Kenion is planning to study nursing at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro.

"I've always been interested in the medical field. It's only right that I go into it," she said.

Her brother is looking at the Air Force. He's not sure if he wants to fly or wants to be stationed at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, but he's still got time to make those decisions.

"It just feels something right to serve your country," Lanier said.

A quick burst of rain quickly scattered those standing outside to their cars.

For graduates, the rest of the day will be spent going to graduation parties, eating food and hanging out with friends and family. And the next stage in their lives will have begun.

As salutatorian Andrew Seiglie said during his speech: "There's no way for me to know exactly what the future holds, but I can tell you what is quickly approaching each and every member of this graduating class, that dreaded word that sends chills down my spine at the very thought of it -- responsibility."