The Reidsville High Class of 2018 turned their tassels Saturday morning before families and friends in the school’s auditorium.
Accepting diplomas were 190 graduates. Now, 81 of them – or 43 percent –are bound for college, many partaking in $5,287,376 worth of scholarships and grants. Five graduates are headed into the military.
The class included five Presidential Awards of Academic Excellence, 20 North Carolina scholars and 25 National Honors Society members.
Senior Class Vice President Kenneth Pinnix introduced the morning’s guest, followed by classmate Tamia Scott’s rendition of “I Hope You Dance” by LeeAnn Rimes. SGA Secretary Samantha Skidmore introduced two classmates to speak.
“After almost 13 years… after 156 months… after 4,748 days, we’re finally graduating,” said SGA President Joseph Spencer. “This school and this city have fostered each and every one of us. Our time we spent here has changed us and made us into the people we are today. Think back to how different you were just one year ago. All of these experiences have gotten us here to this day, to graduation.”
Spencer chose the senior class quote from Dr. Seuss: [start italics] How did it get so late so soon? It’s night before it’s afternoon. December is here before its June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon? [end italics]
“Time is a constant and fleeting force. No matter how powerful, smart or rich someone is, no one can bottle time. Each and every one of us has a limited time on this earth, and ultimately it is up to us to decide how we spend it,” he said. “Who can be such a fool to intentionally waste time? Most of the time we… do it without thinking twice. …What we desire and hope for die in a moment because of our lack of management of time.”
Spencer said time is wasted through worry. “Instead of worrying about passing that exam, study. Instead of worrying about paying your bills, find a job and make the money. Worrying about time destroys our potential because we are worrying about what could go wrong,” he said.
“Winston Churchill said, ‘Let our advance worrying become advanced thinking and planning,’” Spencer said. “We need to make the most of our time, composing ourselves to meet any challenge that comes before us.”
Time is also wasted by wishing it away. “How many times have we asked, ‘where is 3:30?’ With this ungrateful attitude that pushes us to want time to speed up, we waste so much of our precious time. And it’s a mindset that makes us believe that not all of our time is precious. …Time has a no refund policy.”
Senior Class President Bryson Chapmon then took to the podium.
“I’d like to start off by thanking the teachers, but I’d really love to start off by saying, ‘You’re welcome… for the seniors making your lives better, for not causing trouble in any way… for never giving any of you a headache or causing any stress to your job.’ So on behalf of every senior here, you’re welcome.”
He pointed out to the administrators that a rule was being broken, because every senior in the building was wearing a hat.
“The most valuable information that we learned as students at Reidsville High School didn’t come out of a textbook or a presentation from our awesome teachers, but it came from the everyday interactions that we had with our classmates in the hallways and in the classrooms,” Chapmon said. “Simply learning to get along with our peers, regardless of a person’s background, race, gender or religion, is what we as students are going to have to use in our everyday lives going forward.”
He said the Class of 2018 has a lot of questions about where to go from here, and that when he needs guidance, Chapmon turns to Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Following the presentation of diplomas by Principal Ann Mitchell and assistant principals Rebecca Wells and Matt Rice, the seniors were pronounced graduates.