Davie High seniors together for first time as a group – at graduation
By Mike Barnhardt
On Friday, June 4, members of the Davie County High School Class of 2021 got together as a group for the first time as seniors.
On Saturday, June 5, they got together for the last time as they were awarded diplomas as high school graduates.
“Our ceremony today celebrates an important first and an important last,” said Erika Terry, senior class president who opened the commencement ceremony. The class is the first to spend all four years of high school at the Farmington Road school.
“This has been a year of many losses, and we didn’t know if we would be gathered here like this today. This final moment to celebrate together is a first and last moment of normalcy, our first and last moment of being seniors. Let me be the first to say that I am overjoyed to welcome you here today to celebrate our last day of being together and the first step of a new chapter,” she said.
Sadie Ann Essic was chosen to speak from among the top academic seniors. She said she watched several past speeches, and the one that stood out was from Elle Woods, a 2004 Harvard law school graduate and Legally Blonde actress.
Essic said that she and her peers most likely had to take classes that didn’t inspire them. They were just there to get a grade.
“Seek a path that does inspire you,” she advised fellow graduates. “Look for opportunities to work hard. Trial and error builds resolve and perserverance. You will develop that strong sense of self. Take advantage of learning opportunities. Be eager to try new things.
“Never lose faith that people are good. If we hold onto our faith, I have no doubt it will be lives well lived. All of our dreams are truly within reach.”
She ended with a quote from that famous speech, with a slight change for the year: “Congratulations Class of 2021. We did it!”
Emma Helton was the War Eagle speaker, nominated by a member of the community and picked by fellow graduates.
She remembered that first day in the brand new school, where she and other freshmen had trouble finding classrooms. She remembered that first football game, and that first touchdown scored by fellow 2021 graduate Jack Reynolds.
“There have been so many firsts. But today will be our last first,” she said.
“Our four years at Davie were no walk in the park … but we made it. We were resilient. We survived.”
Principal Doyle Nicholson focused on many of the students’ accomplishments, including a total of $5.2 million in scholarships. From the Davie High Class of 2021: 104 plan to attend a four-year college; 159 plan to attend a community college or trade school; 41 plan to join the work force; and six will serve the country in the military.
“We should strive to make each of our waking moments meaningful and worthwhile,” he said. He talked about Anne Frank who remained focused and positive and horrible conditions, a focus that later inspired millions of people. “I hope they will see the same optimism, courage and desire to move forward. You have accomplished so much here at Davie High.”
Music was played by the Davie High Vocal Ensemble, with solos from seniors Bethany Adams and Tommy Landy.
Senior class president Jackson Nixon gave the invocation. “We pray that you surround the graduates with your grace and favor. Bless us with hope so that we can take the next steps into our futures with eager and open hearts,” he said.