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Graduation 2019: Salisbury High graduates look to the future

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By Shavonne Walker
shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

Eriq Argrett had already quickly shed his cap and gown following Salisbury High School’s graduation on Saturday, but still posed for pictures with his family afterward.

Argrett, who lost his mother when he was about five months old, was surrounded by his surrogate mothers including his boss at Mambo Grill, a former art teacher and his older sister, Niya Kluttz.

Also in the mix were his older brother, Kyre and father, Erik Stevenson.

“It’s amazing. I put three of them through Salisbury High School. He’s the last one. It’s like giving birth,” Stevenson said laughing.

About 205 students walked across the stage at the gymnasium while more watched from inside the auditorium. Typically family and friends would’ve watched the ceremony from the football stadium, but the school, like others around the county, had to make adjustments for the rainy weather.

Argrett will attend Rowan-Cabarrus Community College and later transfer to Catawba College to pursue a degree in engineering.

“It’s a proud feeling because he wasn’t supposed to be here,” said Argrett’s sister, Niya Kluttz.

She said her brother was born premature, “at home on the couch,” his father said.

Kluttz was 10 when she watched her brother being born. She said when their mother died, she stepped into the role of mom.

“I’m happy, excited and will miss being in high school, but I look forward to what’s coming next,”Argrett said.

Roxana Henriquez says she’ll attend Lenoir-Rhyne where she will pursue a degree in nursing. She already has summer plans that include working as a CNA at Novant Health Rowan Medical Center.

“I’m excited and nervous for college. But I’m proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished,” Henriquez said.

She spent most of her senior year in school working two jobs at Partners in Learning childcare center and Zaxby’s.

“You just have to keep going,” she said, even if you feel like giving up,” she said.

Valedictorian Ellen Simons spoke to students about creating a solid foundation that they can then build upon and then use that foundation to make an impact on the world.

Salutatorian Olivia Dagenhart asked students to think not about what they wanted to do in five years, but what kind of person they wanted to be in five years.

Tasha Bolar, whose son, Javares Chambers, graduated and will go on to study graphic design, said she was so proud of him, which were sentiments his father, John, also made.

“If you want something and desire a goal, you have to do what you need to do,” Bolar said of her son’s goals.

Carsyn Parrott and her twin brother, Harrison, both plan to attend UNC-Wilmington. Carsyn will seek a degree in psychology and move onto a degree in recreational therapy while Harrison will study sports marketing.

“I enjoyed my time here. I’m just excited to move onto bigger and better things,” Harrison said.

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