Remembering friends and family you care about was a common theme expressed by the commencement speakers. "Remember to thank friends, teachers and family that have given us that extra encouragement when we needed it most," said class vice president Ashley Worrell.
Valedictorian Jessica Edington, who said she does not like goodbyes, listed 10 reasons why the graduates could not really say goodbye. Among them, the grads can always come back and visit GHS. And, Edington noted, she wasn’t really going anywhere, because she will be attending William and Mary. Another reason she cited, "you will see your friends again. That’s what Facebook and Walmart are for."
"This is not an end to learning. School does not end today," Edington continued. "This is a celebration of your accomplishments. Remember to celebrate. Whatever you do, don’t cry."
After thanking her parents for the sacrifices they made for her, salutatorian Morgan Sadler said "past success does not guarantee future success. Many times we learn the most from our mistakes." Sadler also shared a quote heard often from GHS instructor Ron Flowe, which he calls words of wisdom from his mother-in-law. "I want your best, and a little bit more,’" Sadler said.
"Continue to let your parents know you love them," urged GHS principal Tony Beverage, even though it may not be the popular thing to do. Beverage also told the grads they were ready for the next steps they would take, "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. Class of 2011, you have been adequately prepared for this day."