On the heels of defeat, victory is that much sweeter, said Patrick Boatner, a Harlem High School senior who received his diploma at summer school graduation ceremonies Thursday.
"I was devoted and came back to do what I had to do," said Boatner, who failed algebra II during the school year and made up the course credit in summer school.
He was one of seven graduates in a rainbow of robes representing each of the county's four high schools.
"You can take a deep breath now," Elizabeth Faison told her niece Regina Jefferson, a Greenbrier High School graduate.
Jefferson, who had an entourage of 10 relatives at the ceremony at Lakeside High School, said getting her diploma was a relief. It was a half a math credit that kept her from graduating with her peers.
"It took a long time for me to get here," said Jefferson, who plans to attend Augusta Technical College to study cosmetology.
Lakeside High School graduate Frank Pizzi Jr. (left) gets his diploma as Columbia County school board member Regina Buccafusco and school superintendent Tommy Price stand on stage at Lakeside High School on Thursday afternoon.
Photo by Annette M. Drowlette
Lauren Jones wiped away tears as she stood at the lectern and thanked her parents for their support. Medical problems kept her from a spring graduation, but on Thursday she had her sights set on bigger things.
"It's the beginning of my life," said Jones, who plans to start Augusta State University in the fall to become a registered nurse.
Summer-school principal Rosalie Carraway gave the commencement address at the intimate ceremony, conducted with the same pomp as the traditional spring event - minus the air-horns, beach balls and throngs of people at the Augusta-Richmond County Civic Center. Summer school was held this year on Lakeside High's campus. The last day of classes was Wednesday.
"So what does this word 'commencement' mean?," Carraway asked. "Actually, it denotes a beginning, a new start and not an ending. Why then is a word referring to a beginning used to label an event that suggests a conclusion? You may have reached what you believe is an end, but it is not a dead end on your road of life. You have arrived at an intersection, a turning point, and you are now ready to continue your journey in a new direction."
High-school graduates were:
* Samantha Adams, Greenbrier High School
* Allen Dewayne Barry, Evans High School
* Patrick Boatner, Harlem High School
* Shaun Michael Bott, Lakeside High School
* Regina Nichole Jefferson, Greenbrier High School
* Lauren Nicole Jones, Greenbrier High School
* Frank Joseph Pizzi Jr., Lakeside High School
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.