Thomas Stone High School staff, along with several school system officials and county dignitaries, conferred diplomas to 307 seniors in a graduation ceremony this afternoon. Stone’s ceremony was led by Vice Principal Ryan Erickson, who served as the administrator for the Class of 2015. Stone graduate Rainey Southworth greeted her peers at the start of the ceremony, and reminded them that their lives as adults were just beginning. “We can do whatever we set our minds to. All the people who came to support you today haven’t seen anything from us yet,” she said.
Members of the Stone senior class choir wowed the audience and their fellow graduates with a performance of the class song, “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday,” by Boyz II Men. Stone valedictorian Amanda Reigel also wowed her classmates with words of wisdom during her speech in which she reminded her peers that there is no elevator to success.
“You have to take the stairs and frankly, the stairs are a lot of work. But I guess that’s the point. So, believe it or not, we have even more work ahead of us,” she said. She also thanked her classmates and teachers for all of their support, and left the audience with a lasting quote, “there is no moment that cannot be improved with ice cream.”
Faith Breads, the Class of 2015 salutatorian and senior class president, quoted Winston Churchill in her speech and reminded her classmates that their experiences in high school will stay with them for the rest of their lives. “These gowns, pins and medals that we wear today will eventually collect dust. But the experiences and memories that were formed throughout the journey leading up to this moment will live on forever,” she said.
Stone’s graduation was the second of six high school ceremonies planned for May 29-30 at the Convocation Center at North Point High School. Stone’s Class of 2015 earned more than $5.8 million in scholarship offers, and additional totals are being reported as offers are received. Stone’s graduation ceremony can be viewed online at http://livestream.com/ccpstv/15tshsgrad.