Friday, June 7, 2013
One hundred and thirty-four and $3.16 million.
Those were the magic numbers on Wednesday night as members of Waccamaw High School’s Class of 2013 ended a chapter in their lives.
The 134 graduates were offered more than $3 million in scholarships. Forty-four graduated with grade points averages of 4.0 or higher.
Salutatorian Bryce DeChamplain explained that when she and her classmates were young, people read them fairy tales, but told them their lives wouldn’t be fairy tales.
“Whoever said that was wrong,” she said.
She told her fellow seniors to be “heroes in [your] own fairy tales.”
She also extolled the virtues of the Class of 2013.
“As we grow we’ll only get more incredible.”
DeChamplain said the staff at Waccamaw passed their magic onto the graduates and help them prepare to fight life’s battles.
She encouraged her classmates to “be brave enough to do things that scare you, … and live your life in a perpetual state of excitement.”
Valedictorian Austin Meares amused his classmate by stating that he prefers to be elegant through calculus.
He also praised the Class of 2013.
“We’ve had high expectations placed on us the last four years and we’ve lived up to them,” Meares said.
He cited the numerous state titles and hours spent doing community service and high grades as proof that the seniors can do great things.
He hoped that all the members of the Class of 2013 “learn to appreciate the connection between achievement and dilligence.”
All went smoothly in the ceremony as the first 106 seniors walked across the stage, grabbed their diploma folder and shook hands with principal David Hammell, school superintendent Randy Dozier, assistant superintendent Celeste Pringle and assistant principal Tyronne Davis.
But when Hammell reached for a diploma folder for the 107th student, Adrian Lee Rhodes, there were no more folders on the table.
A mad scramble ensued just outside the gymnasium as teachers looked for the missing folders. Inside, the crowd was serenaded by the theme songs from “Jeopardy!” and the “Pink Panther.”
Waccamaw band director Chris Graham was greeted with a huge cheer when he appeared in the doorway carrying the missing box of folders.
The ceremony continued, the last 28 seniors crossed the stage, and Hammell proclaimed them high school graduates.
By Chris Sokoloski
Georgetown High School
Valedictorian Jessica Jordan congratulated the Georgetown High Class of 2013 on an outstanding year during commencement exercises on Wednesday evening in the school’s gymnasium.
“Just look at some of the accomplishments that have been earned when we band together in a team effort,” Jordan said.
She said the school was awarded a Palmetto Gold Award and received an absolute rating of “excellent” on its report card this year.
She also mentioned several other school accomplishments, including:
n The NJROTC rifle team made it to the area championship and their academic team will be heading to the championship bowl in June. They have once again upheld a distinguished ranking and have won over 15 trophies and other rewards this school year alone.
n The Student Council and Government has been extremely active in school affairs and helped to pull off all kinds school events.
n The Interact Club raised money for Habitat for Humanity.
n The National Honor Society donated a large amount of time to Morningside, bringing smiles to the faces of the elderly. They also raised a four-figure sum of money for the independently operating Smith Medical Clinic.
n The Art Honor Society helped create the Bulldog float for the Homecoming parade.
n The Science National Honor Society helped to fund and to pull off a successful Relay for Life and assisted the American Cancer Society.
n The GHS football team had a winning record, went to the playoffs, and five athletes earned scholarships to colleges.
n The GHS softball team made it to the championship game this year after upholding a tradition of success.
n The GHS basketball team was also highly accomplished, making it to the playoffs as well and achieving a rank in the state’s top 50.
She said that everyone in the class has something to be proud of from the past year and that like the colors that each of them were wearing to show their accomplishments, each person is unique.
“As a class, we are all alike in some ways, and much different in many more,” Jordan said. “Together, all of us make up a broad spectrum of talent and potential.”
Salutatorian Elaine Zhong thanked the parents, teachers, friends and family for the help they gave to each of the graduates.
“You have all had a profound impact on the development of the students who will be graduating today,” Zhong said.
She asked that the graduates remember back to August 2009 when they first entered Georgetown High as freshmen.
“We perceived high school as an uncharted no-man’s land,” Zhong said.
“Fortunately, we were blessed with many inspiring teachers who guided us along our journey.”
She also talked about the paths that each graduate would take.
“Some of us will go straight to the work force, others will join the military, and some will go to college,” Zhong said.
“These paths might cross and diverge, but do not be fooled because everyone has the power to be successful. Yet we cannot expect to have anything to be handed, on a silver platter. We have to work hard to achieve big.”
By Clayton Stairs
Note: The Andrews and Carvers Bay graduations will be in Wednesday's Georgetown Times.