Long County High School held its graduation ceremony Friday night at Veterans’ Field in Ludowici. This year, 129 students received diplomas and the class produced 29 honor graduates — the most in school history. Cassandra Pelton was the 2013 class valedic-torian, and Luke Golden was the salutatorian.
Class secretary Sara Parker began the evening with an invocation, and class treasurer Ashley Murphy led attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Class president Erica Golden welcomed audience members and her classmates. She told her peers how much she cared about them and reminded them of their final accomplishment.
"We’re making history tonight, being the final class to graduate from our high school. … I love you all. It’s been an amazing journey," Golden said.
Salutatorian Luke Golden followed his cousin, marveling at how quickly high school had come and gone.
"The last four years really have gone by in a blink of an eye," Golden said. He added that he and his classmates really didn’t understand that they had finished high school. He said it probably wouldn’t hit them until they started packing suitcases and boxes to begin the next stages of their lives.
Valedictorian Cassandra Pelton told her classmates that they always would be linked.
"No matter where we go, we take a little bit of each of us with us when we go," she said. Pelton compared each member of the class to a different musical instrument. They each make their own sound, she said, but when those sounds are put together, they create a symphony.
"Class of 2013, let’s change the world one note at a time," she said.
Following class addresses by Golden and Pelton, Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters, LCHS Principal Scotty Hattaway and Vice Principal Bill Epps presented students with their diplomas. After all the diplomas had been given out, Waters instructed the students to "flip their tassels."
Class vice president Kylie Yancey took the podium and reflected on the memories the class of 2013 shares. She said many teachers helped the students through their journey, such as instructor Christie Nevil, who assisted the students with their senior projects.
"And remember how Mr. (Michael) Taylor could always crack us up, even on the toughest days?" Yancey asked.
To conclude her speech, she told her peers to lift their heads high.
"Look at yourself and be proud of what you accomplished," Yancey said.
Class parliamentarian Hannah Johnston gave the benediction, and the students gave their teachers final hugs. Seniors gathered in a circle and threw their caps into the air, signifying their completion of high school. Finally, family and friends stormed the field for more congratulatory embraces.