Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 19, 2014
Surry’s Class of 2014 sends forth 14 unique graduates
by Bette Britt
On one of the most beautiful evenings in June, the Surry Elementary School gymnasium was virtually packed to the rafters with families, relatives, friends and neighbors present to watch the graduation of 14 members of the Class of 2014 on Monday, June 16. Not a minute of the program was wasted, as students took turns at the podium after Principal Cathy Lewis greeted the audience and told the soon-to-be graduates, “Good for you.”
The program was custom made for the Class of 2014, with each of the students having a part, beginning with a poem from Grace Neal, then lightly—and humorously—skipping over their years at Surry Elementary School with Jordan Barker and Abby Smith (Remember When?), Kai Hoschouer and Skyy Bettis (Predictions of a Fanciful Future) and Virginia Cox and Paige Hoschouer (What We’ll Miss Most). Nicholas King and Ben Tracy provided thanks and a slide show, so even a total stranger would have understood why those being promoted would always have warm places in their hearts for SES. Zachary Carter and Aiden Doughty provided additional details about their class trip to Boston earlier in the spring before Danny Goodrich told about the class gift to the school.
Music teacher Danica Wolf expressed surprise that anyone who works at the school only two days a week—a total of 72 days out of the school year, she figures—should be asked to speak. But her stage presence and warmly personal talk to the young people with whom she shared the stage brought applause, howls of laughter and—at the end—respect for adults who care about students. “You members of the Class of 2014 are a unique group,” said Wolf, as she ticked off a list of things they should always remember: “Always wear sunscreen,” “Do the best you can—you will fail sometimes, but that’s OK—just don’t give up,” “Listen to your parents and guardians,” “Be kind,” “There’s only one you,” declared Wolf, turning toward the students before quickly leaving the stage.
Co-valedictorians Kiersten Cox and Sophia Steinbarger spoke last for the Class of 2014, comparing their years at Surry Elementary School, as one who’d attended since second grade and the other a relative newcomer, from the standpoint of what they’d learned year by year. A high point of middle school was the annual dinner theater, they agreed.
Awards were presented as follows: Steve Bemiss presented Student Athlete award to Jordan Barker; Martina Harries presented the Bagaduce Music Lending Library award, which included a four-year membership and opportunity to borrow up to 10 titles a month, to Sophie Steinbarger; Lynn Bonsey presented Surry Citizenship awards to Jordan Barker and Grace Neal; and State Rep. Ralph Chapman presented the State Citizenship award to Jordan Barker, “who consistently does the right thing.” Julie Havey received special recognition for behind-the-scenes work she does for the school.