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FREDERICKSBURG – A jubilant crowd of family and friends watched as the Caroline High School class of 2013 graduated in the school’s 36th commencement.
Two hundred and eighty-nine graduates received diplomas at the commencement, which was held at the University of Mary Washington’s William Anderson Center Friday night.
The valedictorian of the class of 2013 was Hiba Seager, and the salutatorian was Chandler Moison
“You’ve reached the important milestone of graduating from high school. Now it’s time to continue that trend and craft your own milestone that will leave a sense of satisfaction once
completed,” Seager told her classmates in her valedictory address.
She challenged them to set a goal. “It does not have to be an earth shattering or academic goal – just a milestone that you would like to reach in a few months or a few years. The most important part is to make sure this goal will mean something to you when achieved.”
Moison read a short passage from a Dr. Seuss children’s book and reminded classmates that the future is in their hands. “Our futures will be what we make of them,” she said.
“High school was great,” said Moison, “but it is over now, and the rest of our lives start here. We need to find out what makes us happy and what we want to do with the rest of our lives.”
“We need to decide for ourselves what it is that we want to do for the rest of our lives now that we have completed this first chapter,” said Moison.
In his remarks, principal Charles Stevens praised the class of 2013 for some of its achievements. The school’s JROTC program earned its 17th consecutive gold star, the highest achievement a unit can receive. The boys spring track team finished fourth in the state, led by senior DaQuan Pollard, who was state champion in the high jump. Seniors who participated in the ‘We the People’ competition took first place in the district and region. Stevens also praised the students for their volunteer service in the annual Christmas gala for senior citizens organized by the Caroline Rotary Club.
Members of the graduating class were awarded over $1.6 million in grants and scholarships from various organizations, colleges, trade schools, and the military, noted Stevens.
“Former U.S. president John F. Kennedy said, ‘We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.’ So as a small token of appreciation, as you exit the stage tonight with your diploma, you will be handed a flower. I want you to give that flower to someone in your life that made a difference and was instrumental in helping you make it to graduation,” said Stevens.
The graduates heard addresses from two other classmates, Lawrence Jackson and Richard Williams III. In addition, in farewell remarks, Shaquia Lewis encouraged the class to “continue to grow where ever you go.”
Stevens and Superintendent Greg Killough presented the diplomas to graduates.