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For the Staunton River High School Class of 2013, it was truly a Golden Commencement.
Celebrating the 50th graduating class in the school’s history, close to 270 SRHS seniors were urged to not just follow someone else’s trail, but to blaze their own. The commencement was held Saturday evening at the Vines Center at Liberty University in Lynchburg.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead reminded her classmates that they didn’t get to where they were alone. “As the years passed we all left our mark, we all found our place,” Karnes said. “Look back on your past with a smile and look forward with hope.”
• Class President Naomi Lancaster Moore urged the Class of 2013 to remember that their past does not define their future, adding it was time to “step into our grown-up shoes. We each took unique paths throughout high school,” Moore said. “I’m so proud of all that we have and will accomplish.”
• Thomas Andrew Key noted that, “Today is the beginning of our future and we are in control of its outcome.” Key urged his classmates to be prepared as the Minutemen of old were. “Remember neither success or failure is permanent,” he said. “Class of 2013, don’t settle for second best.”
Class Vice President Montana Chase Willis brought the message to his fellow graduates. “Do not look back with regrets,” Willis stated. “Now is the time to look forward. He urged the Class to make their mark on the world. “We are all starting a new chapter in our lives,” he said. “All of us have the potential to make a difference in the world. … It is our time, let’s make the most of it.”
Jeffery Reaves Seals welcomed those attending the graduation and Wyatt Ulric Kline led them in the Pledge of Allegiance. Seniors who will be going into the military were asked to stand and were given an ovation. Cody Dale Williams introduced the student speakers.
LHS Principal Tim Overstreet encouraged the seniors “that you’re ready for what the future holds.”
Senior Audra Josephine VanDerwerker introduced special guests at the commencement and Kiley Thompson Barholomew explained the symbolism of the rose each senior received from the guidance department, that they were to give that rose to someone who had helped them reach their goal of graduating. Anna Krysta Zaryczny introduced the Bedford County Public Schools administration officials attending the event.
An honorary diploma was given to the family of Danielle Rachael Oliver, who would have been a part of this graduating class.
Class officers for the LHS Class of 2013 included: Naomi Lancaster Moore, president; Montana Chase Willis, vice president; Danielle Rae Cheek, secretary; Sterling Gordon Merrill, treasurer; Elizabeth Carroll Overstreet, reporter; and Madison Marie Karnes, historian.