Summer grads receive degrees

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By Tom Wilmoth

    Uzaifa Ahmad was only a few blocks away when the Twin Towers came down in New York City in September 11, 2001.
    “I thought the world had ended,” she said of living through that experience. But having survived it, she confidently told her fellow summer school graduates last week, “We’re going to be OK.”
    Ahmad was one of 11, 2011 Summer graduates from Bedford County Public Schools. Graduation exercises for  them  were held at Liberty High School on Thursday.
    She urged her classmates not to settle for anything less than striving for success. And if they fail, she said it shouldn’t be because they didn’t try.
    “You worked hard enough to get through it,” she said of completing their graduation requirements.
    David Forbes, the Internet coordinator for the summer school program, told the graduates that the ceremony was a testament to the hard work and persistence they had displayed to get to that point. He said it’s doing the little things that help make big things happen.
    He added that the students represented a first for BCPS—the first class to utilize the online learning curriculum that will become a fixture in the school system in the years to come.
    “Your persistence paid off,” Forbes said. “Excellence is not an act—it’s a habit. … Finishing the task is as important as beginning the task.”
    The summer school graduates included:
    From Jefferson Forest High School – Caleb Gillespie and Uzaifa Ahmad;
    From Liberty High School – Vanessa Carter, Samantha Lopez, Tyler Robertson, Candias Saunders and Gaitlin Wright; and
    From Staunton River High School – Cody Gunter, Tristan Hash, Cody Spencer and Lauren Woolard.