Blue Devils Roar in 2017 graduation ceremony
By LYNDON GERMAN
Jun 23, 2017, 13:52
Hopewell High School Class of 2017 graduates walk up to the stage to receive their diplomas.
Approaching the gates of Merner Field there was a roar of parents, teachers, students, neighbors and friends clamoring on both sides of the packed stadium. With a smile the ticket taker could only say this, “I’ve never seen this many people here before.” Hopewell High Schools 102nd commencement ceremony was one to remember.
On June 10, a sea of Blue Devils shook the hands of their peers and instructors as they bid farewell to their years at Hopewell High and received their high school diploma. As they enter a new stage of their lives, the 270 graduates graced Merner Field one last time with words of wisdom from their classmates.
As Principal of Hopewell High School Thomas Pond Jr. said Saturday was a day of joy and celebration. Though they leave the familiar halls of his school grounds he hoped they remember their Blue Devil pride. Hopewell City Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Melody Hackney also praised the students for completing another great and productive year with a symbolic gift.
Each grad was gifted with a gold wing pin a symbol of the protection and preparation of their teachers and families. “I don’t know all of you, but I do love you …I t has truly been a privilege to serve as your superintendent.”
Hackney outlined how students should strive for excellence, partnership, community and personal success living through the school’s imagining excellence motto.
Salutatorian and Blue Devils girls’ basketball star Tyah Hunter said to her fellow graduating class “this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for ... look how much we’ve changed.” Hunter reflected on how naïve she and her classmates were as freshman to how confident they are now. From the record-breaking Girls’ Basketball team to the 37 outstanding graduates, Hunter knows this graduating class is the best to ever walk the halls, and for those who would stand in their way, Hunter quoted rapper Kendrick Lamar saying, “sit down and be humble.”
Valedictorian Kristen English quoted Shakespeare’s As You Like It saying, “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool.” English urged her classmates to remember that though they’re school days are over they have a lot to learn. She asked them to be assured, persistent and, most importantly, make mistakes.
“If there is anything I would like the Class of 2017 to walk away with today is knowing that we are all smart enough to conquer the odds that may be stacked against us,” English said. “…We may be finished with high school, but, by no means, are we finished with learning because we have the ability to learn something new every day.”
As the graduates walked the stage, the uncontainable crowd cheered with every step. Hopewell High School’s 102nd commencement was a show of how interlaced the threads of committed families and instructors influenced their graduates.