South Stokes honored and gradated 115 students on Friday night with 28 of them walking across the stage with honors. The 2018 class earned $4.2 million in scholarships and 92 percent of the seniors have committed to pursue their education at a higher level of learning.
After students Kimberly Boles, Abby Quesenberry, and Yaretzy Segura sang the national anthem and Quesenberry and Cheyenne Richardson followed up with a song “Five More Minutes,” South Stokes principal, Johnna Cheek spoke about the positive impact that the senior class was leaving.
“They are leaving their mark on the Saura community and Stokes County. You are leaders, not followers, and we appreciate the mark you have left on our school and our lives. Seniors, you have left your mark in so many ways and on so many individuals through your service projects, campus improvements, and demonstration of character. You’ve touched the lives of young children and the elderly, spoken kind words to those in need, and brought numerous reasons to celebrate to the Saura family. I challenge you to continue to leave your mark and continue to lead.”
Superintendent Dr. Brad Rice remembered his first impression of South Stokes and the connection he feels with the 2018 senior class.
“I’ll never forget my first open house here at South and walking over to the FFA table and meeting Jonathan Weavil. I was very impressed with the way he shook my hand and looked me in the eye. It’s ironic that my first impression of this class has begun and ended with him. This class has done some amazing things and I’m very impressed with the young adults you have become and the excellence you have shown. Keep making changes, but look beyond yourselves in the future. If you make changes that affect you then only you will be affected. If you affect change for others you have a chance to change a county, a state or a nation.”
Valedictorian Hannah King encouraged her classmates to be the voices of those who need help in the community.
“It’s up to us to use our voices to make sure that Stokes County offers the same opportunities that we have had and perhaps even better ones to younger kids in the future. It’s up to us to call for a community that recognizes the importance of education of all kinds and to provide funds that will allow students and teachers to reach their fullest potential and facilities that are envied by other counties. The children of today are the future of tomorrow and if we all do our equal parts, the future of this county will be brighter than ever.”
Robert Money can be reached at 336-749-1193.