Not even gloomy weather stopped Havelock High School graduates from enjoying their day.
A thunderstorm hit right as graduates, family and friends arrived at Havelock High for Saturday morning’s commencement. Camille Terry shielded herself with an umbrella during the heavy downpour as she entered the school.
“It’s awful. My hair is wet. My dress is wet. I just stepped in a 12-foot puddle,” she said. “But, I’m still graduating. It’s all good. I’m finally getting that diploma.”
The 8:30 a.m. ceremony was moved into the school gymnasium with Friday’s and Saturday’s bad weather.
As family members flagged down one another as they entered the crowded gym, their wet clothes were noticed second to the smiling faces of the graduates, families and friends.
Senior class president Ashley Bickel spoke of the strengths her classmates possessed in all areas, from the classroom to athletics and the arts.
“We are a class of greatness,” she said during her graduation speech.
All 264 graduates of 2013 will have memories of their four years at Havelock High. Salutatorian Dana Taylor wished for her classmates to dream big and follow their hearts, while valedictorian Alexandria Wickman reminded them that they were already successful on this meaningful day.
Student council president Meghan Black talked in her speech about how the class stuck together through “trying times,” including the death of math teacher Amanda Lawrence Lane earlier this year and the near drowning in the fall of senior Glenn Poole, who despite a lengthy recovery process walked across the stage to receive his diploma on Saturday.
Black’s hope for her classmates was to exceed the expectations of others while doing what makes them happy and to always “shine bright like a diamond.”
As the names were called and students walked across the stage to receive their diplomas, a sense of excitement filled the gym, so much so that before Craven Schools Superintendent Lane B. Mills could officially declare the students graduates, they tossed their graduation caps into the air with joy.
The processional played and the graduates strolled out of the gym for the last time as high-schoolers to the cheers and shouts of their loved ones, giving the class a standing ovation.
Students gathered around the school embracing one another with tears of joy while stopping to snap pictures with family and friends. Graduate Alex Vigil said he “feels done and ready” as he heads off to North Carolina State in the fall.
Leaving the school for the final time, the words of Bickel ring true.
“Our time has come to an end,” she told classmates during her speech, “but our legacy will last throughout these hallways.”
For more than 200 pictures from Havelock High;s graduation, click here. http://portal.havenews.com/photogallery/?CatID=8&AlbumID=2096