Southampton High’s Class of 2016 begins new chapter

Published 9:36 am Wednesday, June 22, 2016

“The past four years of our lives have boiled down to this day,” senior class president Latoya Lashley said as she welcomed the gathering of graduates, friends, family members and school faculty to Southampton High School’s 2016 commencement ceremony on Saturday.

“A high school diploma is a wonderful tool in this world, one that opens many doors and gives us many opportunities,” she continued.

Representatives from the Southampton County School Board and the board of supervisors were also in attendance.

“We not only congratulate the students graduating here today, but also the family, friends, faculty and others who helped to make this accomplishment possible,” said Dr. Deborah Goodwyn, chairman of the school board. “Without your support, love and guidance, these students would not have gotten where they are and they would not be sitting in frontof us today.”

Superintendent Alvera J. Parrish concurred, congratulating parents on seeing their children from Pre-K to high school graduation.

“This class has accomplished much, and the time here has been well spent,” she said in her remarks. “You should be very proud of yourselves, on this, your special day.”

Parrish congratulated the 163 graduates, 86 of whom graduated with an advanced diploma and 84 of whom were honor graduates.

“I know that this is a class full of talented and smart leaders ready for a new challenge,” Parrish said.

She concluded her remarks with one of Martin Luther King Jr.’s most famous speeches, saying “’Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light cant do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.’ I encourage you, class of 2016, to be the light.”

Valedictorian Ann Jackson Edwards said, “We are ready to take the world by storm and make an impact.”

Keisha Branch, the president of the National Honor Society, gave an address tinged with humor, recalling memories from throughout her high school career as she bid her classmates farewell.

“In the words of Mrs. Annetta Moore [senior class sponsor and government teacher at SHS], ‘If the good Lord’s willing and the creek don’t rise,’ I hope to see you all on the other side. Congratulations to the Class of 2016!”