The commencement ceremony Friday at Long County High School saw 145 seniors graduate, and two other members of the Class of 2015 were remembered.
The night began with the Blue Tide band playing “Pomp and Circumstance” as the seniors walked on to Veterans Stadium. The invocation was given by class parliamentarian Carmela Ciccone, and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by class secretary Morgan Bennett.
Honor graduate Pedro Marrero welcomed all and spoke of the many different gifts that each member of the class possesses. He told his fellow graduates that to achieve their dreams, they would have to work for them, but anything is possible with hard work.
“When we wake up tomorrow, we will be Long County High School graduates,” he said.
Class president and salutatorian Hannah Golden reminded her classmates of their journey through Smiley Elementary School, Walker Middle School and finally LCHS. She said each member of the class has a unique role in life and that all have their own special path.
“In everything you do, do it to the utmost of your ability,” she said. “The future is what you make of it.”
On behalf of her class, valedictorian Taylor Poole thanked the Long County Board of Education, all of the high school principals, the faculty, parents and other family members for helping them attain their goal of becoming high-school graduates. She said that now, it’s up to all graduating students to use the knowledge and wisdom that have been given to them to pursue their future goals. She told all of her classmates that she hoped they would live their life in a manner in which their actions would make the world a better place. Citing the class motto Poole said, “Where the present ends, the future begins.”
LCHS Assistant Principal Sherry Lester then led the stadium in a moment of silence remembering former students Anita Sanders and Arianna Seager who would have been graduating on Friday had they not died. As a hush fell on the packed stadium, all that could be heard was the Blue Tide bell ringing one time each for Sanders and Seager.
LCHS Principal Scotty Hattaway presented the class to all who were present and told the new graduates that they could now flip their tassels. Hattaway joined Assistant Principal Michael Taylor and Superintendent Dr. Robert Waters in presenting each student with a diploma. After the diplomas, were given out Michaela Martinez led his fellow classmates as they sang the school alma mater.
Class vice president Aisha Johnson bade the class farewell, telling her classmates that now their journey through life begins. She compared the upcoming journey to a long trip in a car that would hit many bumps and have many stops along the way. She said some of their teachers were challenging and that others said their class was “the one that was hard to love.” On behalf of her fellow classmates, she expressed gratitude to the faculty and said all of them would miss Taylor’s big smile and corny jokes and Hattaway’s detention slips for violating the dress code.
Class treasurer Cody Collier closed out the ceremony with the benediction prayer. He thanked God for blessing the class in the past, and asked him to continue to bless the students in the future.
After the formal ceremony was over, the class officers lined up their fellow classmates in a circle and then, in unison, they threw their caps into the air as high as they could. After the caps hit the ground, the hugs, smiles, and tears began as parents ran on to the field to take pictures of their now-adult children.