NEWBERRY — Newberry High School graduated 156 students during commencement ceremonies held Tuesday night and the ceremony went off without a hitch, Assistant Principal Kyle Cannon said.
The Class of 2014 entered the Scott Gym one final time as students of Newberry High with the excitement of being a graduate there, yet with the nervousness of what awaited them once they left the hallowed halls of their soon-to-be alma mater.
There was a packed gym, as well those without tickets who filtered into the school’s auditorium to see their loved ones, friends, neighbors, as Valedictorian Samantha Rikabi compared their graduations from kindergarten and the eighth grade to now.
Becoming their assistant principal when they were sophomores, Cannon told the graduating class on behalf of the school, “It is our goal to see you become productive citizens and give back to this community.”
“We have finally made it to the end,” said Salutatorian Stephanie Wilson.
“We will all be going our separate ways whether to a college, a university, a technical school, the military or to a job that awaits us. No matter what paths we take, we are choosing the one that’s best for us.Our time at Newberry High will always hold a special place in our hearts,” said Wilson.
“We are now officially adults,” Rikabi continued in her speech. “Punishment can no longer be a phone call home. We have to now grow up and decide which path we are going to take.”
“You never know who may change your life. Good luck in your future endeavors,” Rikabi concluded.
Cannon asked everyone at the request of the graduating class to please refrain from any kind of applause or yelling so that each graduate as well as their loved ones could hear every name read aloud during the awarding of the diplomas.
After Trayvon Young had gotten settled back in his seat with his diploma in hand, the entire gym erupted in a standing ovation for the soon to be graduates.
“The crowd was quiet when names were called and adhered to the district’s wishes so every name was heard,” Cannon said. “We also added a recessional this year that made the ceremony even more special. The auditorium had high quality video and great sound when needed.”
Senior class president Camisha Jones followed the school’s alma mater at which time she ordered her fellow students to move their tassels from their right side to their left, signifying them now officially being a graduate of Newberry High School.
“This was our first graduation held inside. I know there were concerns and curiosities from the public but everything I’ve heard after the ceremony was positive,” Cannon said. “It’s a compliment to Newberry High School, the community and the loved ones of the graduates.”