LAURINBURG —On Friday, 20 Shaw Academy students moved the tassels to the right of their graduation caps and were officially able to call themselves high school graduates.
At the start of the ceremony, Principal Brent Smith introduced the top two students of the Class of 2018 to speak — valedictorian Jonathon Blake and salutatorian Diamond Malachi.
Blake spoke about failure and how it is a part of life. Quoting Winston Churchill, Blake said that “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”
Blake is one of the several students going into the workforce after graduation. Most of the class plans to attend college, while one student plans to enlist in the military and go to college.
“Failure is going to follow you no matter where you go or what you do, it’s part of life,” Blake said. “You cannot have success without failure….I am now introduced to the adult world and I am comforted in seeing all of you so I know that I’m not walking out into the world alone.”
Malachi talked about how tough senior year had been.
“I didn’t know it was going to be so hard or stressful, but we made it and we went through a great deal of transformation,” Malachi said. “Whether it was out parents our attitudes or realizing we are no longer kids. But whatever transformation we made we made it for the better…. Starting today let go of what’s in the past, appreciate what still remains and look forward to what’s coming up next.”
Delania Green also spoke to the class by sharing her struggle with being a teenage mom at 15.
“Even the people I loved the most doubted me and talked down to me that hurt me in so many ways that I couldn’t even explain,” said Green. “I did rebound, by my 11th-grade year thanks to Mr. David Johnson and Sharon Williams. The two of you saved my life, words can’t explain, a thank you wouldn’t even be enough… I learned that life is not easy, you do not see the challenges on the outside but every one of us has them.”
The Shaw seniors were lead in the ceremony by the “Pomp and Circumstance” performed by the Scotland High School band while being cheered on my friends, family, and teachers. The students were all smiles despite the early morning heat.
After walking across the stage receiving congratulations and handshake from Superintendent Ron Hargrave along with their diplomas, the graduates received a red carnation to signify the achievement.
The 2018 Shaw Academy graduates are: Shylan Anderson, Terry Bell, Jonathon Blake, Lanaija Brown, Nicklas Brown, Alicia Collins, Dominque Crews, Charles Freeman, Kevin Frier, Lorran Graham, Delania Green, Ashley Gunter, Diamond Malachi, Jacquetta McCoy, Ahmod Pearson, Leonard Scarboro, Tyler Snead, Darquise Woolridge, and Scarlett Wright.
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171