The Ashe County High School gymnasium shook with thunderous applause as 191 seniors walked across the stage, grabbed their diplomas, and took their first steps toward adulthood.
Before the awarding of diplomas, Valedictorian Anna Wooten gave a charge to the class of 2013.
“Tonight, we hit a milestone in our lives; we’re finally going to graduate. Even now, as I stand at this podium, it all seems a little surreal,” said Wooten.
“I would like to take the time to thank the people who have helped me grow into the person that I am today,” said Wooten. “The title of validictorian was awarded to me, but realistically, there are dozens of people who have contributed to my success.”
Wooten thanked her parents for their love, the faculty and coaches for their guidance, and her friends for their constant support.
“Looking back at my highschool experience, if their is one charge that I must pass on to my fellow classmates, it is to take advantage of your opportunities,” said Wooten, because many young men and women around the world don’t have the same opportunites many take for granted.
“Live, truely live, both for yourself, and for those who cannot,” said Wooten. “Carpe diem, live long and prosper, may the odds be ever in your favor, may the force be with you, and stay golden class of 2013.”
Salutatorian Mikala Shatley also spoke during the ceremony, warning her fellow students about chasing society’s definition of success, and advising her peers to define success in their own ways.
After every senior received their diploma and returned to their seat, ACHS Principal Jason Krider stood at the podium for the moment everyone had been waiting for.
“Would the class of 2013 please rise,” said Krider.
“By the power vested in me by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction and the Ashe County School Board, I now pronounce you graduates,” said Krider.
With that, the class of 2013 took their cue and threw confetti in the air in celebration as friends, family and faculty cheered for the newest batch of graduate from ACHS.