See you later: Davie High a shared experience for us all
Published 5:31 pm Tuesday, June 13, 2023
By Mike Barnhardt
See you later.
Charlie Frye gave that message to his fellow Davie County High School graduates on Saturday morning, one of four students to speak at the 2023 commencement ceremony.
“It’s not goodbye, it’s see you later,” he said, referring to the one constant that brings Davie County together – Davie County High School.
“I know I will see you at Miller’s or TPC getting something to eat. I will see you one day at Sheetz pumping gas. I will see you one day down at The Bullhole with your kids. So take this saying with you as you continue on your journey.
“We don’t have to say goodbye, just see you later.”
Frye was the War Eagle speaker, nominated by the community and voted on by classmates.
“We have something very special here at Davie, a community that truly loves our school. We only have one traditional high school which means almost every person in Davie County ends up with a shared experience of attending Davie High School.
“No matter where I go, I see someone I know and I talk to them,” he said. “Heck, most of them are related to me, which has its problems when it comes to girls because every other one I talk to is my cousin.
“What the last four years have provided me are second to none. I will never forget the way our community supports us here at Davie.”
Other speakers thanked their families and members of the faculty, and admired the students for persevering with COVID shutdowns to remote learning and back.
Lexi Kulis, the academic speaker, began by reflecting on the class freshman year, interrupted by COVID.
“We have advanced in more ways than we could have anticipated … from the hesitant steps we took on that first day of our freshman year to the confident strides we take now. We have conquered challenges and succeeded in the face of adversity.
“We are tenacious, competent and equipped to face whatever difficulties are ahead. You are here today because you did the work and you made it through.”
Lexi had a message for the school’s faculty.
“Your unwavering support and passion for education and a commitment to our success has left an indelible mark on our lives. Your influence has shaped us into the young adults we are. We are today ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead.”
To her fellow graduates, she said: “Take your gifts and make a positive impact on the world around us. Let us be catalysts for change, advocates for justice and ambassadors of kindness.”
Katelyn Cohen, student body president, welcomed the crowd that filled War Eagle Stadium for the ceremony.
“There is not enough gratitude in the world to express the impact you have had,” she said to the audience and to those who couldn’t attend but were there for their student.
“I know you each will do something great,” she said to fellow graduates. “It may seem daunting, but start small and see where it takes you.”
There was nothing traditional about their four years at Davie, Katelyn said. “But we made it our own and we persevered to be able to walk across this stage today. You could say we have certainly lived through it to get ot this moment. This has been quite a journey, and I’m glad we were all able to experience it together.”
Maddie Keller, senior class president, recognized a moment of silence for classmate Palmer Dickerson, who died about five days earlier. “He is dearly missed, and will walk across the stage with us today in spirit.” A memorial was placed in his chair, and members of his family and friends released balloons when his name was read.
Maddie offered a prayer to her Almighty God that said, in part: “As we stand side by side here today, we are all equal before you regardless of wealth, background or familial ties, we are all human, imperfect, yet striving for the same things. Do not let us forget that we all became stronger by being a part of Davie County.”
Outgoing teacher of the year Lester Robinson gave the address, thanking the students, talking about world affairs and ending with a rousing “Be excellent to each other.”
“We send you out into the world ready and equipped for what’s to come,” said Principal Michael Pruitt. “Do not be afraid or apprehensive. Now is the time to celebrate it.”