Dressed in orange and black robes, 93 Summerville High School graduates laughed and cried as they hugged and high-fived teachers and administrators while lining up for their entrance onto Thorstead Field for the 2019 Graduation Ceremony Friday night.
To the sound of the Orange Crush Band playing Pomp and Circumstance, the graduates took to the field and found their seats. Jazz @ 8 sang the Star Spangled Banner before Shiloh Lloyd lead the thousands of attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Elias Britton gave a welcome speech before graduating seniors joined Jazz @ 8 to sing Hallelujah with each senior having a solo in the song.
Logan Richardson gave his salutatorian speech in which he quoted Cookie Monster "Sometimes Me think, 'What is Friend?' and then me say, 'Friend is someone to share the last Cookie with." As he left the podium he high-fived his friend and valedictorian Nielson Holland. Holland joked about procrastinating on his speech "I did what any high school student would do when they need to write a paper, I sat down, put my headphones on and listened to my music for hours" but by listening to music Holland realized he could quote great musicians and the speech would practically write itself.
He quoted Michael Jackson and Kendrick Lamar "I'm starting with the man in the mirror, I'm asking him to change his ways, And no message could have been any clearer, If you want to make the world a better place, Take a look at yourself, and then make a change. Once you become great though, don't be cocky, just sit down and be humble." The crowd and his peers all cheered his speech.
Senior class president Dominic Berger spoke about the class gift, "As freshmen we started with $500 and over the years, through fundraisers, we've made $8,765." The class gave the school a new hydration station in the quad, a storage shed and they planted a Japanese maple tree for Summerville graduate Lucas Gruenther, an Air Force major who was killed in an F-16 training mission in Italy in 2013.
Senior Jason Vaccarezza introduced foreign exchange students Fabian Dunst, of Germany, Magdalena Jop, of Poland and Annabel Rust of Norway, who each gave speeches about their time in California and at Summerville High School.
Marie Schermeister introduced guest speaker, World History and Acadec teacher Jordan Brull. Brull encouraged the graduates to "Clean your room. Put your life in order before stepping out and trying to change the world. By having your own life in order you create stepping stones to achieve greater things".
Superintendent Michael Merrill declared the Class of 2019 fit to graduate and Principal Kellene Ditler called the individual names. She said 53 seniors will be attending Columbia College, 19 will be entering the workforce, 14 will be attending universities, five are joining the military, two will go on missions .