By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
The smiles of accomplishment and the tears of both sadness and joy were the emotions expressed as nearly 300 graduates walked the line at South Laurel High School to receive their diplomas on Saturday afternoon.
It was standing room only in the gymnasium as family and friends packed in to watch commencement exercises for the Class of 2013. The 21st graduating class raked in more than $3 million in scholarships this year.
Students stood at attention while graduate Andrew Hudson sang the National Anthem after the ceremony began. Then came the addresses by the two Salutatorians Megan Bruner and Blair Walden.
Bruner described how people live for the future — “People wait all week for Friday, wait all year for summer.
“We are constantly looking for the future, but instead we need to make time for the present,” she said.
Walden said graduation day brought her a “multitude of emotions," and she stressed to her classmates that setting high goals was essential for future success.
“Be strong. Account for high goals,” she said. “I decided at an early age that I wanted to be a good role model. Experience, not age, teaches us values.”
Co-Valedictorians Brandon Gilbert and Dylan Holskey also addressed the issues facing the 2013 South Laurel graduates.
As the graduates gathered for the last time of their high school careers, Gilbert said, “We’ve been here five days a week, 40 weeks a year for four years. I’ll remember the friends I made here because the friends I made here have made me the person I am.”
Holskey wound up the student addresses by reminding his fellow classmates of the responsibilities facing them as students.
“For four years, we’ve heard 'due tomorrow, due tomorrow, due tomorrow,'” he said. “Now that’s over. It’s been a privilege to know you.”
All four students thanked God, their parents, their teachers and their friends for the memories and achievements reached over their high school years before taking their seats for the presentation of diplomas to the 286 graduates.