Fourteen graduate from Salisbury Academy
Fourteen students graduated from Salisbury Academy this year, bringing the total alumni of the school to more than 250 who have graduated since the first graduating class of 1998.
Salisbury Academy students, faculty, staff and family members gathered Wednesday for the eighth-grade graduation ceremony.
During the ceremony, Middle School Division Director Heather Coulter, who teaches seventh and eighth grade language arts, addressed each of the students individually, recognizing their personal achievements. Her speech was based upon the various archetypes of the classic literary hero — each of which can be identified by his or her own unique characteristics. Each student was discussed in association with the hero archetype with which he or she shares characteristics.
Art teacher Michelle Spieler presented the piece of art selected by the eighth grade class as a gift to the school.
The class selected a mobile by local artist Ray Earnhardt, which will hang in the hallways of Salisbury Academy for years to come.
“This is such a great tradition, and the students look forward to it every year. They choose a piece they feel represents their class,” Spieler said.
Valedictorian Ivy Overcash addressed her class about how perseverance has served them well in their time at Salisbury Academy.
She told the rest of the student body to “persevere through the academic, athletic, and personal challenges. Joy awaits on the other side. You may fall at one point or another, but Salisbury Academy will provide a soft place to land.” Overcash described her 10 years at Salisbury Academy as a true privilege “where the lessons, personal relationships and memories will stay with us forever. This has been more than just a building full of classrooms, but a home and learning experience that has prepared us for whatever comes our way.”
Salutatorian Anna Louise Lewis also addressed the audience, reminding her class to put their whole selves into everything they do, leading the entire crowd in a round of “The Hokey Pokey.”
A relative newcomer to Salisbury, Lewis spent two years at Salisbury Academy and commented on how quickly she felt a part of the student body. “Each and every one of you are like my siblings, and even though I came in not knowing anyone, I feel like I’m leaving with a family; I love all of you,” she said.
She also thanked her teachers.
“We thank you for the endless hours you have put into creating the people we are today and the people we will become. You have guided us and taught us so much. You were there to teach us how to tie our shoe, write a book report, and how to study for exams. We are ready for high school and beyond,” she said.
Overcash and Lewis also received the Middle School Citizenship Award. The award is especially meaningful because every middle school student submits an essay on their selected candidate, describing the character traits qualifying them for the award. Both Overcash and Lewis, along with Drew Shelby, plan to attend Gray Stone Day School; Ben Coulter and Lizzie Fisher will attend Jesse C. Carson High School; Malik Holmes and Matthew Pickens will attend North Rowan High School and Maria Capito, Adam Drye, Emily Mann, Kathryn Morrison, Garrett Shermer, Isabel Temple and Jacob Webb will attend Salisbury High School.