LAURINBURG — Scotland Christian Academy was full of laughter, tears and prayer Friday as the members of the Class of 2018 began the next chapter of their lives.
William Furtell welcomed his fellow graduates saying that high school had been an unforgettable journey.
“Together we share a common bond — we are the Class of 2018,” he said. “From the first day of school we’ve accumulated some exceptional moments. We started kindergarten with themed backpacks. Now we stand here in our cap and gown.”
The tears started as Amy Chaput began singing “Find Your Wings,” which talks about God, faith and courage to pursue great things.
Salutatorian Lauryn Henry and Valedictorian Destiny Cartrette lightened the mood with their speeches reminiscing on the years they spent with their classmates and the good times they shared.
Henry opened her speech by giving the Urban Dictionary definition of salutatorian.
“The person who just missed being valedictorian by a few GPA points. A very miserable person indeed. Second place is just the first loser; however, we are not going to use that. We have accomplished what some people said was impossible. The past four years have not been easy it took three things — dedication, perseverance and endurance. I’ve been attending SCA since I was four years old, this has not only been my school, but my home.”
Cartrette took the podium and apologized to Scotland Christian Academy headmaster Phillip Cline for her unwavering sweet tooth.
“Anyone who knows me, knows I love to eat,” she said. “Ms. Shiplet always took care of my sweet tooth. Mr. Cline I can only think of one time I was actually sent to the office, I wasn’t trying to skip school I was just trying to go get me some food.”
The classes top student then turned to her classmates and thanked them for sticking by her and accepting her when she joined them in fourth grade.
“We have made so many unforgettable memories,” Cartrette said. “We’ve all been given the necessities we need for life it’s now up to us whether we take it and grow or whether we do nothing. This is a deciding moment in our lives. So let’s take it, plant it, water it and grow it so the world can watch us blossom.”
Following Cartrette’s speech, a slideshow featuring photos of each graduate played with the songs, “Do I Make You Proud” by Taylor Hicks and “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts played in the background and ensured there wasn’t a dry eye in the room.
Before handing out the diplomas, Bibles and flowers Scotland Christian Academy headmaster Phillip Cline had a few final pieces of advice for the Class of 2018.
“They ask me every year, ‘Mr. Cline are you going to cry?’ I always give them a look and smile, but I always felt a tear a while ago,” he said. “Some of you we’ve been through a lot together. Some of your parents and grandparents wondered if this day would ever come and yet here we are, God is good isn’t he?”
To that questions, Cline received a resounding “Amen” from the family members in the crowd.
“I look forward to hearing great things from each one of you. We want to see you make it. Life has a way of teaching you many lessons, you’re not going to stop learning,” Cline continued. “Believe it or not, you don’t know it all — some of you think you do. You still have a few lessons to learn, just ask your parents.”
Cline then presented each of the 20 graduates with their diploma, two flowers — one for them and one for their mother — and a Bible.
After the presentation of the diplomas, Rev. John Cartrette provided the benediction before the Class of 2018 was officially presented.
“Our prayer is they accomplish great things, that they are successful financially, physically, mentally. I prayer not only for the graduates but everyone here, God, that this is just a place to prepare for eternity,” he said, “it behooves us all to prepare to meet God one day and no doubt at this Christian school that there is only one way to get to heaven and that’s through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Cline returned to the stage and asked the newest graduates of Scotland Christian Academy to stand and move their tassels, signifying the end of their high school careers.
Scotland Christian Academy Class of 2018:
Hannah Faith Brown, Destiny Hope Cartrette, Kimberly Brianna Cartrette, Kyleigh Lynn Collins, Cody Nicholas Edwards, William Philip Futrell, Destiny Aaliyha Graham, Lauryn Simone Traderiah Henry, Amber Nicole Jacobs, Brianna Lynn Jacobs, Jasmine Alexis Jordan, Leah Doris Locklear, Haileigh Marie Norton, Christopher Jacob Odom, Aaron Shayne Oxendine, Courtney Faith Perkins, Austin Danny Pruitt, Daniel Dale Sisk, Hannah Grace Thompson and Telinda Sheyenne White.
Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or [email protected]