‘Don’t settle for a little life’

Published 11:29 am Wednesday, June 7, 2017

More than 100 seniors from Central High School in Lunenburg County were encouraged by administrators and fellow students to live life to the fullest, stay compassionate and believe in themselves during the school’s 50th graduation ceremony held Saturday morning.

Family and friends waited outside the school before doors opened at 9:30 a.m. with the line wrapping around more than half the length of the school.

The ceremony began at 10 a.m. when the Central High School Concert Band played live to usher in faculty and 104 graduating seniors.

Students Tenique Chavous, Katelyn Sherwood and Whitley White sang the National Anthem.

Among the speakers were

students Andrew Kennedy, Jessica Paquette, who read “It Couldn’t Be Done” by Edgar Albert Guest, Valedictorian Bobbi Joe Carwile, Salutatorian Jonathan Clarke, High School Principal John Long and Division Superintendent Charles Berkley.

Students Raymond Alexander and Clifton Lee won the Citizenship Award and the Ambassador Award, respectively.

Berkley, as a 1975 graduate of the school, offered students several lessons he learned through his post-graduation experience, including the importance of self confidence, gratitude and living fully.

Berkley reminded the class to remember their roots and the lessons they learned in their lives and encouraged students, in addition to gratitude and helping others, to create meaningful lives of respect and happiness.

“Don’t settle for a little life,” Berkley said. “Live with purpose and with significance. Respect yourself, and others.”

Valedictorian Bobbi Joe Carwile shared memories as a student, adding that her focus was to gain academic achievement. She said fear held her from experiencing what are considered typical high school milestones.

Carwile encouraged students to not let opportunities pass them by, but to live life in a way that creates memories as well as results.

“I encourage you, no, I implore you, create those unforgettable memories that will shine brighter and bolder than everything,” Carwile said. “Fill your life with those incomparable moments that you will always remember in clear and precise detail.”

After the ceremony, family members and friends surrounded students to cheer them on, celebrate and snap photos.

Central High School student Clifton Lee, left, receives an award from Principal John Long. Lee won the school’s Ambassador Award for his work in the school.

Pictured are, from left, Brianna Witherspoon, Katrina King and Keyonna Pryor. The three came in support of graduates Tyler Tyrik Williams and DaQuan Cleaton at Central High School.

Pictured are, from left, Ray Dickerson, Melissa Dickerson and Amanda Edmonds. The three came out and had shirts designed for graduate Trevor Edmonds.

Pictured, from left, school officials Kathy Coffee, Elizabeth Williams, Charles Berkley, James Abernathy and Doug Aubel are ready for graduation.