Salisbury High graduates 189

Published 6:26 pm Saturday, June 9, 2018

By Rebecca Rider

SALISBURY — Salisbury High School seniors faced the future with determination during Saturday’s graduation. The day dawned bright and hot as families, friends and graduates gathered in Salisbury High’s stadium.

As they looked forward, student speakers also reminded their classmates not to forget the past, and said that their struggles brought them to where they are.

“The obstacles that you have faced might have created doubt in your heart,” Katana Alexander, senior class president, said. “But regardless, you have made it to this day. You are stronger than you know.

Alexander also encouraged parents to continue encouraging and motivating their children.

“We will still need you after this day,” she said.

And finally, she encouraged her classmates to chase after the life they desired.

“I ask you all to try,” she said. “Try to travel, try to network, try to reach your dreams.”

Mary Kauffman, co-valedictorian, reminded students of all that they — and their school — had accomplished in the past four years. Salisbury High is now home to a state-of-the-art STEM Lab and advanced manufacturing academy, and the school’s historic auditorium is undergoing renovations. And both school and students had an impact that rippled throughout Salisbury.

“Our school is small,” Kauffman said, “but it is a centripetal force in our community.”

She encouraged her fellow graduates to keep pushing, keep striving and to keep having an impact.

“I don’t want you to ‘find where you belong,'” she said, “because if you do, you would have chosen comfort over challenge. …Get out of your comfort zone.”

Bethanie Stauffer, co-valedictorian, told her classmates to focus on what they want to do, who they want to be and how they want to get there — because without a plan, they could easily become lost.

“In many ways the world we enter is a kind of Pandora’s Box,” she said.

But while the future could be intimidating, it offered a chance for the Class of 2018 to start with a clean slate.

“You have a world of options laid out for you,” she said. “You simply have to choose.”

Ethan Knorr, co-salutatorian, likewise encouraged his classmates to create their own future.

“The future is not about the technology created,” he said, “but more about the people that will create them.”

Those people, he believed, were seated in front of him.

Approximately 189 students graduated Saturday.

Validictorians were Mary Kauffman and Bethanie Stauffer. Salutatorians were Julia Honeycutt and Ethan Knorr.

Contact reporter Rebecca Rider at 704-797-4264.