Graduates told to do their best

Published 9:00 am Friday, June 14, 2019

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Graduating from high school is quite the accomplishment, but it’s not the end.

It’s the beginning.

Sierra Foster, valedictorian of the Davie County High School Class of 2019, and also the academic speaker for the commencement ceremony Saturday morning in the school gym, offered the advice to her fellow graduates.

“Today, we start a new chapter and go our separate ways,” she said. “It isn’t a finish line. It’s a starting line.”

The six years of elementary school, three years of middle school and four years of high school provided some of the knowledge and guidance to give graduates direction for the rest of their lives, she said.

She told the story of a little girl on a playground in elementary school. Her friends, all in the gifted classes, were singing “The Decimal” song. She didn’t know it, and longed to be in classes with her friends.

So she worked hard. Year after year. By the fifth grade, she was included in the classes with her friends.

“I am that little girl,” Foster said. “Your future experiences in life are what you make. Are you willing to spend that extra hour? It will benefit you.

“I encourage you to make time for self improvement. Each of us sitting here has the potential to change the world. This is the starting line of your life. Put everything you have into it.”

Mikhail Harris, the War Eagle speaker, told fellow graduates to have faith in themselves.

“People will doubt you,” he said. “I urge you to hold that faith in yourself tightly to your chest.”

Lives shift and change and the future is unclear, Harris said, telling graduates to be prepared mentally, physically and spiritually.

“It will take hard work and passion,” he said, thanking family, friends and the community. “What we do at each point in our lives really matters. Make each day a great day.”

Grace Garner, student body president, welcomed guests to the 63rd graduation at the school.

“To my fellow graduates, take a moment to reflect over the last four years … good friends, good memories and a great place to call home, because that’s Davie,” Garner said.

Graduate Salem Cartner offered the invocation, and thanked the Lord for blessing the graduates.

“Thank you for the gift of friendship you have so blessed us with. Go with us in the next chapter of our lives,” Cartner said. “May we always look to you for direction.”

Principal Doyle Nicholson outlined some of the accomplishments of the Class of 2019 – from sports to the arts to academics. Students in the class earned more than $3 million in scholarships.

He said 170 of the graduates will attend a four-year college, 112 a two-year college, 55 going to work and 16 entering the military.

“And I have seen many of you displaying your gifts of kindness,” he said.

He told them that once they  have found their talents and gifts, they have three choices: brag about their gifts but not use them;  do the minimum work because they’re so talented; or use them to be a positive influence in the world.

Graduates Chloe Sammons “The Climb” and Briana Burch “Lean On Me” performed musical selections.