Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 13, 2007

By Michelle G. Lyerly
Kannapolis CitizenIt was hats off to the Northwest Cabarrus High School class of 2007.
“We’ve written papers, solved problems and taken classes as long as we can remember,” said summa cum laude graduate Daven P. Quinn as he delivered the welcome address Monday afternoon during Northwest Cabarrus’ graduation at the Cabarrus Arena and Events Center. “Where we go from here is entirely up to us.”
Northwest Cabarrus graduated 289 seniors, with 84 graduating seniors earning honors รณ 22 summa cum laude, 27 magna cum laude, 22 cum laude, with 29 National Technical Honor Society members and 53 students belonging to the National Beta Club.
Junior Marshals were Ryan Levin, Rebecca Kinney, Krishna Kollu, Ryan Overcash, Paarth Patel, Cassie Hendrix, Sudeep Mehta, Franklin Niblock, Andrew Soltis, Wesley Nix, Brandon Garren, Michelle Lin, Amy Whitaker, Allison Dupont, Kyle Oman and Shelby Marshall.
“I know a lot of seniors, they’ll do amazing things,” said Junior Marshal Cassie Hendrix, adding that her brother, summa cum laude graduate Christopher D. Hendrix, is on his way to Oglethorpe University in Atlanta in the fall.
“He’s towards the top of his class, so he’s extremely smart,” said Cassie Hendrix.
“It’s just really great seeing all my friends graduate high school going off and seeing the world,” said Junior Marshal Andrew Soltis, adding that it will be his class next year.
“They’ll be really missed from Northwest,” said math teacher Carissa Berglund. “They’ve had such a huge influence in sports, academics and on the student council.”
“I’m just really excited. I’m excited it’s over!” said magna cum laude graduate Alisha N. Biddy, who is planning to attend nursing school in the fall.
“Thank God it’s here! I’m ready to live it up at the beach,” exclaimed cum laude graduate Kristina M. Keating, who will attend the University of North Carolina at Wilmington.
Principal Sharon Abercrombie couldn’t have been more proud.
“Well I am pleased because this year, they’ve showed a lot of spirit and perseverance, and this is the day it’s all come to fruition,” she said. “I know they’re excited and we’re proud of them.”
The graduates processed into the arena with the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance.” Colors were presented by the JROTC with the Northwest A Cappella Choir singing the national anthem.
Quinn followed with his welcome address.
In her challenge and farewell speech, summa cum laude graduate Moboluwade Adeyeye read from “All I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten,” adding her own tidbits of wisdom gained from her high school experience.
The Northwest Cabarrus Choir, under the direction of Drew Howard, followed with “My Way Back Home” by Jay Althouse.
Todd Whittington and Jason Valentine joined together in the reading of senior names as the graduates lined up across the stage, shaking the hands of the principal Abercrombie, Superintendent Dr. Harold Winkler and school board Chairwoman Elizabeth Poole, Vice Chairwoman Holly Blackwelder, and board members Carolyn Carpenter, Cindy Fertenbaugh, Andrea Palo, Lynn Shue and Wayne Williams.
Abercrombie delivered the final remarks.
“It’s what you’ve already learned that will take you into your future,” she said, reminding the graduates that feeling anxious, sad and nervous is a normal part of change.
After the A Cappella Choir sang the alma mater, Abercrombie officiated at the ceremony while hats flew in the air.
The students recessed to “Maestoso” from the Water Music Suite by Handel.
“It’s great! Thirteen years and this is the most exciting part!” exclaimed graduate Larry D. “Tripper” Frye III.
“Without Northwest Cabarrus I would have nothing,” said Seth M. Thomas.
“Brush your shoulders off,” Kyle P. Hogan shouted out to his classmates.
“I’m really proud of Anna,” said Ann Sadowsky, mother of Anna N. Sadowsky. “She’s come a long way; a very responsible young lady. I know she’ll be successful in whatever she chooses to do.”
For Gwen O’Neal, Gilwood Presbyterian preschool director, this day was extra special.
O’Neal can remember a time when 10 of the seniors marched in their caps and gowns to “Onward Christian Soldiers.”
“These are my babies. They’re all growing up,” O’Neal said. “So many have been in the program at Gilwood since they were 2 years old. They were in some of the very first classes there.”
O’Neal’s “babies” include Zachary W. Berry, Blair T. Brown, magna cum laude; Katherine E. Clark, magna cum laude; Brandon M. Mallard, summa cum laude; Kristen E. Maurer, cum laude; Travis R. Price, summa cum laude; Daven P. Quinn, summa cum laude; Seth M. Thomas, Brandy L. Wallace and Adam L. Walter, magna cum laude.
The Northwest Cabarrus 2007 class song is “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts; class poem is “Say Goodbye” by Meagan K. Wummell; class colors are black, silver and turquoise; class flower is a red-tipped white rose; and the class motto is, “Be the change you wish to see in the world,” by Ghandi.
Alda I. Scebbi, summa cum laude, is class president, and Joseph Coadini, summa cum laude, is class vice president.

Contact Michelle G. Lyerly at 704-932-3336 or