Long County High School held its graduation ceremony Friday, proffering diplomas to 134 seniors. Class Secretary Karena Espey gave the invocation followed by a recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, led by class parliamentarian Brandon Abbot.
Class President Sanquez Fair welcomed audience members, who packed Veterans Stadium to capacity. Fair encouraged his peers to thank the many people who supported them during their high-school careers and always stay true to their desires.
“There is a time and place for everything. This is the time and place for the class of 2014 to go out and get what you want,” Fair said.
Salutatorian James Fox addressed the crowd, admitting that he has one fear in life — losing sight of who he is as a person. He told the graduates that they’re in control of their own destinies and how they live their lives. He also thanked school faculty members, on behalf of his class, for their support.
“I applaud you all. It’s been a long road for all of us, but our lives are just beginning. In closing, I have one question for the class of 2014: What will your verse be?” Fox asked.
Valedictorian Dariana Carter took the podium next and reminded her classmates that they’re special because they comprise the first class to graduate from the new high school. Despite the fact that all journeys see some failure, she said, at the end of every great journey is success. Carter stressed to her peers that they possess the potential for future success.
“You have the ability to achieve something greater than you already are,” she said.
Following Carter’s speech, LCHS Assistant Principal Michael Taylor announced a moment of silence, during which students could reflect on their high-school careers and remember classmates Joserath Barahona, Diamine King, Elizabeth Madorma and Nicholas Silinsky, all of whom passed away.
LCHS Principal Scotty Hattaway then presented the class of 2014, and Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters accepted it. Waters, Hattaway and Assistant Principal Sherry Lester then presented the graduates with their diplomas.
As the Blue Tide Band played, Shelby Ignaszewski led her class in a rendition of the school’s alma mater.
Class Vice President Sarai Castillo delivered a farewell speech, taking the opportunity to remind her peers that the memories they made during their four years at LCHS would last a life time. She challenged them to go after their dreams.
“Now is the time for all of us to become the people we have dreamed of being,” Castillo said.
Class Treasurer Kelsey Higgason gave a benediction and the graduates were dismissed. They lined up to offer final words of gratitude to their teachers, formed a large circle and threw their caps into the air. The night came to an end as families stormed the field to deliver balloons, flowers and embraces.