The Yadkin Early College Class of 2017 was awarded its diplomas on Friday at a commencement ceremony held at Union Grove Baptist Church. Many of the 57 students graduated with honors as well as college credits. Twenty-three of the students also graduated with associates degrees from Surry Community College.
Guest speaker for the commencement was Yadkin County School Superintendent Dr. Todd Martin.
“Tonight is one of those milestone achievements in your life,” Martin told the graduates. “This is going to be a night that you remember for a long time.”
Martin said he still recalled in vivid detail his own high school graduation in 1984.
He praised students for their hard work at the Early College as well as their teachers.
Valedictorian Tracey Spaugh addressed his classmates saying, “Graduates, we made it.”
“Congratulations to the future of America,” Spaugh said. He called his years at the Yadkin Early College “the best of his life” and encouraged his fellow graduates to always be honest with themselves as the pursued their future endeavors.
Alexis Plunkett, salutatorian, thanked everyone for attending the graduation ceremony. She spoke to her classmates on responsibility.
“We are the future, as cliche as it sounds it is absolutely true,” Plunkett said. “We are the people that will be making the decisions that affect us, the country and maybe even the world. It is not a light responsibility that we have been given when we look at the problems that face us all today — global warming — but it is a responsibility that we cannot shrug off.”
Also addressing their classmates on the topics of respect and integrity were honor graduate students Jordan Bean and Jordan Shore.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.