103 MHS grads sally forth ‘to seek a great perhaps’
One hundred and three Mathews High School graduates sallied forth “to seek a great perhaps” as they received their diplomas during commencement exercises Saturday afternoon.
“I don’t know about the rest of you, but as I have written on my cap, I go to seek a great perhaps, which for me is a symbol of endless possibility and fulfilled dreams,” class valedictorian Maria Spadaccini told her fellow graduates during her address in the school’s packed Harry M. Ward Auditorium.
“A few months ago, the majority of us were diagnosed with moderate to severe senioritis, so it’s awesome to finally see us all in our robes on this day that we have been waiting so patiently for,” Spadaccini said. “Usually when you’re wearing a robe at two in the afternoon it means you’ve given up. But luckily that’s not the case today. No, today the binge watching of Netflix series must wait.”
“We’ve accomplished a lot over the past four years,” she said, “But we didn’t come this far to only go this far. We’re moving forward now. Whether it be to a university, the military, community college or straight into the workforce, we are about to experience a huge change … We have the chance to reinvent ourselves. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t looking forward to pursuing an additional four years of education, of which I cannot afford.”
Spadaccini spoke of the promise the class of 2016 holds, from the many nurses- and teachers-to-be, to “if you need a mortician, you have Olivia Gwyn; Blake Barefoot can dress you in the finest attire, and Joy Tucker can help you liven up any room with her transcendent artwork … And I’d be extremely remorseful if I didn’t mention Josh Foster, who is going to be an EMT firefighter.”
Salutatorian Stacey Abernathy began her remarks by thanking the many people in her life who brought her to this moment, especially her parents “for loving me unconditionally and supporting me in everything I do.
“Lastly, I would like to thank the Class of 2016 for helping me through hard times and teaching me so much,” she said. “You are an amazing group of students to have grown with and learned from.
“We have all gained some incredible friendships, but I believe the best is yet to come,” she said. “There are so many new friends to be made, new lessons to be learned and new places to be explored.”
Saturday’s graduation started off with class president Brian Owens announcing this year’s senior gift. “We decided that we would like to do something to benefit the future seniors at Mathews High School, so we are going to update and refurbish the senior section of our cafeteria,” he said. “We are donating new tables and chairs, painting the walls, and painting a large Blue Devil to represent the school spirit of the Class of 2016.”