RALEIGH — It was an appropriate time for speeches on working hard to achieve goals and living in the moment.
Thirteen years of effort had propelled the 332 students on Knightdale High School’s class of 2013 roster to one of life’s major finish lines. And a moment they’ll never forget came Monday as they became high school graduates at Memorial Auditorium.
“We all have these big steps, but today you’re being recognized for completing this very big step,” Wake County Board of Education member Tom Benton told the soon-to-be graduates as he greeted the packed auditorium.
Reflecting on KHS: Jaymee Di’anna Miller, the president of the Knightdale class of 2013, summed it up in a single sentence.
“High school was delightful, high school was emotional, high school was stressful and now high school is over,” Miller said.
Miller left her classmates with the thought they are all opening new books filled with blank pages.
“This is where we experience life,” she said.
Challenges to peers: Salutatorian Candice Holmquist urged her classmates to put cell phones and tablets down long enough to appreciate what’s around and live in the moment.
“The clock is running,” Holmquist said. “Make the most of today and everyday.”
Valedictorian Eben Evbuomwan reminded her peers that the countless hours they poured into earning diplomas over the last four years were merely the beginning of a new era.
“Now, most of us have to start over again,” Evbuomwan said. “We all have to work hard in some way to get to our desired destination.
“We should all work hard to build a future for ourselves and be able to give back to our community, and we should always remember we are Knights.”
The big moment: Those capped and gowned were hit with a case of the jitters as they approached the stage for the diplomas presentation.
“Your heart beating before they call your name – it was just crazy,” said Rasheid Adderley-Thomas, whose name was the first called off the long list.
On the other side of the stage, however, nearly all of them walked off smiling and clinging to rewards that were 13 years in the making. Their duties were fulfilled, at least for the time being.
“It felt surreal – like it’s over I guess,” Holmquist said. “That just kind of set in, but we have a lot more ahead of us.”
Outstanding seniors: Fifteen graduates were nominated by their teachers as all-around outstanding students.
They were Charles Browne, Jonathon Crowder, Evbuomwan, Holmquist, Katie Johnson, Holly Knapp, Douglas Lewis Jr., Zachary Mays, Miller, Carlos Rodriguez, Sabra Shephard, Heather Stokes, Alex Sumner, Patricia Trujillo and Montez Wilson Jr.