Forty-five students from the Yadkin Early College High School accepted their diplomas on Friday evening at Union Grove Baptist Church. Many of these students not only received their high school diplomas, but college-level associate degrees as well.
Teacher Edgar Zamora welcomed students and guests. He also addressed the students in Spanish, quoting an Argentinean friend of his. His message was for the students to “construct a better world. A world of brotherhood, a world of justice, love, peace, fraternity and solidarity.”
Yadkin County Schools Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin gave the commencement address. He told the students that he didn’t recall what was said at his own high school graduation and he gave a lot of thought to what he could say that they would remember years from now when they thought back to the day.
“The strongest steel is made from the hottest fire,” Martin told the graduates. He told them that though they may face challenges in life, that is what will build character and make them stronger individuals.
Martin also encouraged the students to have a vision for their lives but to be prepared to adapt that vision as changes happen in their lives.
Martin also recognized Yadkin Early College Principal Tracy Kimmer for being named Piedmont Triad Regional Principal of the Year.
Four of the high honor graduates from the Yadkin Early College also spoke, each reflecting on one of the four pillars of the school — integrity, honesty, responsibility and respect.
Graduate Delma Church spoke on integrity.
“It is standing up for what you believe is right, even when it may have been easier not to,” Church said. He also spoke about learning to ask for help when he needed it and thanked the early college staff and his family for the nurturing environment.
Summer Sizemore spoke on the importance of honesty. She told her classmates that honesty also must apply to one’s self.
“You should always strive to be your best self,” she added. “Take care of yourself and be honest, because you deserve it.”
Senior Morgan White addressed the theme of responsibility and recalled her first experience with the early college before she became a student there and learned about the many college classes the students had access to, with which also came the same responsibility of a college student.
The final student to speak at the ceremony was Julissa Zamora. Her theme was respect.
She spoke of the many people in each student’s life from family to teachers that they admired and looked up to. Zamora thanked her parents for their support and encouragement.
She reminded her classmates to always respect others no matter their title, belief or station in life.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.