10 se­niors grad­u­ate from WRUS

Record Observer - - School - By MIKE DAVIS mdavis@kibay­times.com

CENTREVILLE — Ten stu­dents sat on the Wye River Up­per School stage on Thurs­day night and looked out to see friends, fam­ily and fac­ulty ap­plaud their suc­cess the past four years. Through hard work, ded­i­ca­tion and a will­ing­ness to con­tinue im­prov­ing, the se­nior Class of 2017 walked into the school stu­dents but left grad­u­ates.

Held in the gym­na­sium at the old Centreville Ar­mory, now the home of WRUS, se­niors pro­cessed through the au­di­ence to be front and cen­ter of the cer­e­mony hon­or­ing their high school com­ple­tion.

Chrissy Aull, WRUS ex­ec­u­tive direc­tor, said this year’s grad­u­at­ing class had all the stu­dents at­tend the se­condary school for all four years, which “truly speaks to your hap­pi­ness and suc­cess here.”

The grad­u­ates are as fol­lows: Matthew Dono­hue, Jordan Ed­wards, Raja Frazier, Kyle Het­zel, An­nika Koehler, Michael Lee, Jerome Prochaska, Keefer Schoon, Holden Stehle and Matthew Swan­ton.

Alexa Seip, chair­man of the WRUS Board of Trustees, said the 10 grad­u­ates were “truly mar­velous and won­der­ful” while giv­ing greet­ings from the Board.

Dur­ing the cer­e­mony, both teach­ers and par­ents were rec­og­nized for their work in sup­port­ing the stu­dents through­out their school­ing. While the stu­dents en­tered grad­u­a­tion, each walked in with roses in hand. While they sat on the stage, Aull asked each stu­dent to find their fam­ily and to present them with the flow­ers.

The teach­ers, al­most all in at­ten­dance, were called out by name and asked to stand for recog­ni­tion in help­ing guide the stu­dents.

Aull said when she asks stu­dents why they are suc­cess­ful at WRUS, “It’s met with a very quick re­sponse: the teach­ers and the staff, they care about me.”

Speak­ing for the fac­ulty and staff, Aull said the 10 se­niors over the past four years were a “joy,” and that “even the blips on the screen and the mis­steps are the stuff of true com­edy,” some­thing all can look back on now and laugh “know­ing how very far each have come.”

Aull de­scribed the group as a tribe, a “true cir­cle of friends.”

Over the years the se­niors had marched in Selma as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had, as well as stood in the same churches, de­liv­ered clean wa­ter in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic, be­came role mod­els for tod­dlers, stud­ied es­tu­ar­ies, strolled through Times Square and cu­rated their own ex­hi­bi­tions. She said to­gether they had “memo­ri­al­ized” the stage with their por­tray­als of Char­lie Brown as well as per­formed Pink Floyd, “House of the Ris­ing Son,” and the Red Hot Chili Pep­pers.

“You help one an­other find your voice, speak your minds and de­fend your stance all with bold­ness, re­spect and con­fi­dence,” Aull said. “Where once many of you were ret­i­cent and timid, to­day you leave this place as or­a­tors, com­mu­ni­ca­tors, col­lab­o­ra­tors and ad­vo­cates, cit­i­zens and schol­ars.”

Be­fore Kate Livie, direc­tor of ed­u­ca­tion and as­so­ciate cu­ra­tor at the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Mar­itime Mu­seum and au­thor of “Ch­e­sa­peake Oys­ters,” ad­dressed the class, the school choir sang, “Lean On Me.”

Livie, who had lunch with the se­niors prior to grad­u­a­tion, said the grad­u­ates have a “fire in their bel­lies, each dif­fer­ent, each in­trigu­ing, each en­tirely out­side the spec­trum of the or­di­nary.” She said those fires are what makes them tick and that they are “al­ready fol­low­ing their per­sonal North Stars on their lives jour­ney.”

Livie spoke about how her ex­pe­ri­ences grow­ing up on the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay helped form who she is to­day and helped guide her in­ter­ests grow­ing up.

The same pas­sion and spark Livie had ad­ven­tur­ing around the East­ern Shore she said she saw in the se­niors, but for mu­sic, film, teach­ing, travel and an­i­mals.

“Al­ready, so many of you have done some­thing it takes some peo­ple a life­time to dis­cover — un­der­stand­ing what brings mean­ing, wonder and di­rec­tion to your life,” she said.

Livie said the pos­si­bil­i­ties are end­less with this group of stu­dents “who have al­ready over­come so many chal­lenges to be here to­day,” but that those “suc­cess­ful high school grad­u­ates with their eyes on the hori­zon and their hearts full,” will be ready for any­thing.

Fol­low Mike Davis on Twit­ter: @ mike_k­ibay­times.

PHOTO BY FLORI OROSS

Se­niors at Wye River Up­per School were sur­prised on grad­u­a­tion night when they re­ceived a stack of books to keep that they had read through­out their four years at the school. The books were placed un­der each stu­dent’s chair.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Kye Het­zel walks through the crowd at Wye River Up­per School to the stage to grad­u­ate with nine other se­niors on Thurs­day, June 1.

PHOTO BY FLORI OROSS

Michael Lee re­ceives the Stu­art Bounds Dual En­roll­ment Award dur­ing the Wye River Up­per School grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony on June 1.

PHOTO BY MIKE DAVIS

Raja Frazier pro­ceeds to the stage at Wye River Up­per School on Thurs­day, June 1, as he joined nine other se­niors in grad­u­at­ing.

PHOTO BY FLORI OROSS

Matthew Swan­ton re­ceives the Con­nor Bell Per­se­ver­ance Award dur­ing the Wye River Up­per School grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony on June 1.

PHOTO BY FLORI OROSS

An­nika Koehler re­ceives the Port­fo­lio Award for her work se­nior year dur­ing the school’s grad­u­a­tion cer­e­mony on Thurs­day, June 1.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.