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East Rowan 2018 High School graduation

The sun was shining bright on Saturday morning for East Rowan High School’s graduation. Family members and friends fanned themselves with programs in the hot sun, and excited chatter could be heard throughout the crowded stadium.

Saturday was Tonya Brinegar-German’s first graduation as principal of the high school. She encouraged the students of East Rowan’s 59th graduating class to strive to make a difference. She encouraged the students to take risks and to challenge themselves.

“Dig deep, persevere, and don’t give up.” said Brinegar-German.

Several students were honored with awards during the ceremony. These students included Joseph Ethan Diaz and Bryson Taylor Sprinkle, recipients of the Human Relations Awards; Kyler Paul Morrison Eagle and Victoria Jane Trexler, recipients of the Service Awards; William Cress Brown and Laura Caroline Johnson, recipients of the Leadership Awards; Tanner Matthew Jackson and Jaqueline Megan Wright, recipients of the Civitan Citizenship Awards.

The scholarship awards were given to Angelique Paris Scialdone and Mia Melita Graham. They were awarded because of their cumulative GPAs throughout their academic careers from 9th to 12th grade. Scialdone was valedictorian and Graham was salutatorian.

In her speech as salutatorian, Graham told fellow graduates her secret to success in high school: grit. Graham defined grit as passion with perseverance, and said that she believed that success has everything lot to do with hard work and dedication.

“Go with passion and purpose. Go with grit.” said Graham.

During her speech as valedictorian, Scialdone encouraged the graduates to strive to have a mindset of being a world changer. She used a quote from J.K. Rowling in her speech to illustrate to fellow students that even when they experience difficulty in life, that is how they can become better. She also encouraged students to keep pushing on, even when it seems like they have hit rock bottom.

“Your comeback is what defines you…dream big and stay curious.” said Scialdone.

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