End­less pos­si­bil­i­ties await Chris­tiana High grads

Newark Post - - Front Page - By KARIE SIM­MONS ksim­mons@ches­pub.com

Few peo­ple re­al­ize they are mak­ing a mem­ory un­til af­ter the mo­ment is over, maybe even years later, but not Chris­tiana High School’s Class of 2017.

As the grad­u­at­ing se­niors walked sin­gle file into the Bob Car­pen­ter Cen­ter on Tues­day, many of them were feel­ing the grav­ity of the mile­stone they were about to reach and how the mo­ment would soon be­come a mem­ory last­ing noth­ing short of a life­time.

“We’re go­ing to re­mem­ber this when we’re 40 years old,” one grad­u­ate said right be­fore step­ping into the arena.

Ap­prox­i­mately 180 stu­dents grad­u­ated on Tues­day, in­clud­ing 19-year-old Sean­tana Lloyd, who ad­mit­ted she some­times had doubts she would even make it, es­pe­cially on those days where she didn’t feel like get­ting up to go to school. Now that grad­u­a­tion day had fi­nally come, she said she was feel­ing a lit­tle ner­vous.

“It’s not like a bad ner­vous. It’s like an oh-my-god-I’m-soex­cited ner­vous,” she said.

Lloyd said she’s also wor­ried about her fu­ture. She plans to at­tend cos­me­tol­ogy school to work on hair and nails, but has some anx­i­ety about the ex­tra re­spon­si­bil­i­ties and even­tu­ally leav­ing her par­ents to live on her own.

“But I’m ready for it,” she said proudly.

She said her fa­vorite mem­o­ries from CHS are from art class and her fresh­man year, which she de­scribed as the best year be­cause ev­ery­thing was new and ex­cit­ing.

For Kayla Paden, 17, the most mem­o­rable mo­ment was the se­nior class prank. She said the stu­dents turned the cafe­te­ria into a beach with sand and kid­die pools, and dec­o­rated the stair­wells with bal­loons, steam­ers and plas­tic wrap.

Se­nior prom was equally as un­for­get­table, she said.

“It was fun to see ev­ery­one look­ing so nice,” said Paden, who will at­tend Delaware Tech­ni­cal Com­mu­nity Col­lege in the fall to be­come an ul­tra­sound tech­ni­cian.

Sa­lu­ta­to­rian Erika White re­marked that the Class of 2017 was of­ten tardy, but she ex­plained that’s be­cause they were busy ex­press­ing them­selves through the arts, work­ing part-time jobs and tak­ing care of their fam­i­lies. She also called them boast­ful be­cause they talked about be­ing a Vik­ing with pride, goofy be­cause they were com­fort­able enough within their friend­ships to truly be them­selves, and pro­cras­ti­na­tors, of­ten wait­ing un­til the last minute to turn in as­sign­ments.

“But like di­a­monds, we shine un­der pres­sure,” White said.

Ma­lik Sha­reef, 18, agreed his class­mates are goofy, which is why he is go­ing to miss them so much.

“Every­body here is funny. Every­body is a co­me­dian. It’s like a big fam­ily,” he said.

Sha­reef and his friends, 18-year-olds Nasser Richards and Bran­don Murphy, said grad­u­a­tion has been a long time com­ing and they’ve made many mem­o­ries along the way. For Richards, it was the time he scored a touch­down dur­ing his first play as a sopho­more on the foot­ball team. He will study ac­count­ing at Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity in the fall.

Murphy, who will head to Lin­coln Uni­ver­sity for com­puter en­gi­neer­ing, said he will never for­get com­pet­ing in the Penn Re­lays, the old- est and largest track-and­field com­pe­ti­tion in the coun­try hosted an­nu­ally by the Uni­ver­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia.

For Sha­reef, high school was all about the come up. He ad­mit­ted he didn’t do very well his fresh­man year, but buck­led down, worked hard and got his grades up. This fall, he will at­tend Wilm­ing­ton Uni­ver­sity to study busi­ness and mar­ket­ing, and will take with him the most im­por­tant life les­son he learned while at Chris­tiana.

“Never count your­self out,” he said.

“And no ob­sta­cles are too hard to over­come,” Richards added.

Prin­ci­pal Sam Postleth­wait echoed that sen­ti­ment in his ad­dress to the grad­u­ates on Tues­day, de­scrib­ing the Class of 2017 as rep­re­sent­ing for­ti­tude, de­ter­mi­na­tion, hope and pos­si­bil­i­ties.

“The only limit to what you can do is you,” he said.

Postleth­wait talked about great peo­ple through­out his­tory like Al­bert Ein­stein, who couldn’t get a job teach­ing physics for years, and Micheal Jor­dan, who got cut from his high school basketball team. Even Oprah Win­frey, now the rich­est African-Amer­i­can woman in the world, grew up in poverty and had an abu­sive child­hood, he said.

These peo­ple, Postleth­wait said, made the im­pos­si­ble seem very pos­si­ble. He re­minded the grads they can do the same, for they are stronger than any ob­sta­cle in their path.

“You’ve shown me what you are made of and you’ve shown me bril­liant pos­si­bil­ity,” Postleth­wait said. “The world is full of pos­si­bil­i­ties; pur­sue them with all of your heart.”

Vale­dic­to­rian Com­fort Osun­d­ina ad­dresses her fel­low Chris­tiana High School grad­u­ates.

The Chris­tiana High School choir per­forms dur­ing Tues­day’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony.


Ap­prox­i­mately 180 stu­dents grad­u­ated from Chris­tiana High School on Tues­day night.

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