By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Graduation brings out pride, emotions
AP LibertyGrad3
Liberty County School Board members Becky Carter, Harold Woods and Carol Guyett greet David and Johnna Quick after they picked up a diploma presented for their son Jonathan, who died last Thanksgiving. The Quicks' other son, Matt, graduated at the Liberty County High School commencement Saturday morning. - photo by Alena Parker / Coastal Courier
Mortar caps were tossed skyward and a couple young men did back flips after Liberty County High School principal Paula Scott dismissed the class of 2008 for the final time.
"I speak for the entire staff when I say I wish you the best in all of your future endeavors," Scott told the graduates.
More than 230 graduates had earned the privilege of participating in commencement Saturday morning at Olvey Field.
But not every graduate from Liberty County High School got to walk in front of admiring relatives and friends.
Jonathan Quick's diploma was accepted by his parents, David and Johnna Quick of Midway. Jonathan, who was born was spina bifida, died last Thanksgiving.
"It sure meant a lot to us," David Quick said Saturday afternoon after taking his other son, Matt, and the rest of the family, including grandparents, Jack and Sandra Quick and Janette and Gary Chandler out to lunch following the ceremony.
"Jonathan was so looking forward to graduating with his brother."
Spina bifida often constricts its victim's chests and it damaged Jonathan's lungs. It kept him out of many regular classes, but he got to attend art and a few other special classes.
"He loved his church family and his school, and his friends," David Quick said. "Yeah, he loved school."
Matt Quick is hoping to continue his education by taking criminal justice classes, probably at Savannah Technical College. He hopes to become a police officer.
Senior class president Lydia Moran said the ceremony represented a monumental shift for her classmates.
"It is now time for us to boldly begin the next phase of our lives," she said. "We can finally say, 'We did it'."
Salutatorian Amy McGee led her class with reflections of their high school career, reminding them that they did not arrive on their own.
She cited examples of how faculty and administrators also invested extra time and special concern for their education.
"Teachers at Liberty County High School have been hitting us hard for four years," McGee said. "They say these hard knocks are preparing us for life, yet there was always someone there to help us out."
Ethan Troha echoed McGee in his valedictory speech.
"We should be proud of what we have accomplished," he said. "But we didn't get this far by ourselves."
Graduates listened as Troha encouraged his classmates with a focus on how "life is a highway."
"Life is like one big road trip," he said. "You make stops along the way, visit with friends and family and, unfortunately, break down sometimes."
Troha wanted the graduates to start out on their new chapter in life with optimism.
"Live each day to the fullest. Learn from your mistakes, but never regret making them," he said.
Sign up for our e-newsletters