Albemarle High School graduates 87 during commencement exercises

Published 4:35 pm Monday, May 27, 2024

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With 87 graduates receiving diplomas Friday morning on the football field, Albemarle High School celebrates its graduates with commencement exercises.

Omega White welcomed graduates, faculty, Stanly County Schools staff and attendees to the ceremonies, then Marian Garcia-Hernandez sang the National Anthem.

AHS Principal Beverly Pennington, in her remarks to graduates, said “life will undoubtedly present you with new obstacles. Always remember within you lies the strength and capability to overcome them.”

Giving a graduate speech about memories, Miles Gregory said “who would have thought the shy kindergartner from East Albemarle would be standing before you today.”

Gregory said he was “a testament to how much you can grow and achieve when you step out of your comfort zone and embrace the opportunities that come our way.”

In thanking faculty and staff, Gregory said, “your passion has not gone unnoticed.”

Gregory also thanked students, staff and family for their support standing around the fences at this season’s Albemarle – North Stanly football game when the visiting grandstand at North was closed.

“Your cheers fueled out determination,” he said, noting their “unwavering support.”

He closed his remarks saying, “Our journey hasn’t been easy, but we persevered. Look around. We are more than classmates. We are more than friends. We are family.”

Jeyden Browne and Anaesia Davis then combined to give one address on wishing their fellow graduates good luck.

In their joint address, the pair told their fellow graduates to believe in themselves and their abilities, to make a positive impact in the world and a difference in the lives of others, to leave a lasting legacy whether in college, pursuing a career or starting a new venture.

Dustin Foley, a social studies teacher and the head wrestling coach at Albemarle, was the keynote speaker.

Foley’s address spoke about what advice he would give his younger self, noting “the indomitable spirit” in each of the graduates.

“There were moments when the weight of the world seemed too heavy…and still, you just stood tall with courage and determination, and overcame every obstacle.”

Foley offered five pieces of advice to the graduating class: open your eyes, shoot your shot, hug your people, it is what it is, and stand on business.

He encouraged graduates, saying money is important, but most adults would trade all they had for one more dinner with their mom or dad, one more holiday with their grandparents.

Quoting whom he jokingly called “one of the great intellectuals of our time,” fictional character Capt. Jack Sparrow of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” movie franchise, Foley said, “The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem.”

He ended by saying, “I can not wait to read the future chapters that you all will write with your life, chapters full of courage, conviction, unwavering determination and ultimate trials. The world awaits your tale and I have no doubt it will be one for the ages. Congratulations, graduates. I love you.”

Pennington, along with Brian Bradshaw, Jonathan Davis and Keith Livesay, then presented diplomas to the graduates.

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

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