Weather can’t stop, won’t stop, Class of 2019
by The Press and Standard | June 13, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: June 12, 2019 at 11:18 am
By CINDY CROSBY
The Colleton County High School Class of 2019 has experience in one important quality – perseverance.
Not only did the weather impact the traditional commencement ceremony for the Class of 2019, but senior tailgate and prom were also affected earlier in the school year.
Graduation was originally scheduled to be held Friday June 7 at Cougar Stadium; however, a decision came Thursday June 6 to move the ceremony indoors to the Cougar gymnasium as the forecast loomed with a high probability of thunderstorms.
Although it was unfortunate that the lack of seating could not accommodate an unlimited number of guests for the approximate 369 graduates, administration and staff worked tirelessly to ensure the ceremony was simulcast to the performing arts center and the auxiliary gym. In addition, the commencement was broadcast live on the school’s Facebook page.
Following the Class of 2019’s commencement, many graduates and their families, along with faculty and staff, agreed the ceremony was one of the best in recent history, calling it honoring and scholarly in the presence of a well-moderated crowd.
The Class of 2019 had 213 Career and Technology Completers and 55 National Honor Society members. Academically, 46 members of the Class of 2019 had a 4.3 or greater, 24 graduates boasted a 4.0-4.29 GPA and 89 Honors Certificates were awarded.
Following the processional of graduates, the presentation of colors was given by the Colleton County High School NJROTC and the National Anthem was sung by Class of 2019 graduate Laura Lucas, along with the CCHS Chorus. Third honor graduate James McTeer Bunton gave the invocation.
Thomas Russell Warren, salutatorian, welcomed the crowd in attendance, opening with the following: “It is an honor to be standing here before you all today. Wow. We’re here. We made it. Graduates, you may not know me, but I’m Thomas and we went to high school together. Four years ago, as a group, we did indeed start from the bottom … Now it looks like the whole team is here.”
Warren closed with these words of wisdom, “Classmates, fly through life on your path to success, stand strong through the turbulence, and most importantly, do what makes you happy at the end of the day. You must never forget that no matter how much it hurts, no matter how hard you fall, you are never out of the fight.”
Senior Class President Shaleen Gwynn Rose Cree, presented the Class of 2019 gift, a bench for the front fountain.
First Honor Graduate Lance John Berkeley Calcutt gave his valedictory address, comparing high school to the locally filmed Forrest Gump and the famous quote, “Momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. Ya never know what ya gonna get.’”
Calcutt said, “Four years ago, a new group of scared freshmen arrived at the doors of Colleton County High School. In many ways, we were that Whitman’s Sampler. We arrived with different textures, different flavors, different shapes and sizes, and yes, some of us were a little bit ‘nutty.’ We were just trying to make the best of what was before us. High school doesn’t come with a ‘flavor guide’ and the staff didn’t know what they were getting either. As freshmen, most of us wanted to stay in our comfort zones and stick with the basic milk chocolate, because this is what was familiar to us. However, as time went by, we began to try new flavors. We were able to join new clubs and organizations, take different and challenging classes, go out for different sports teams, or getting involved in the arts. Sometimes, you didn’t know what you were going to get, but we all found something we liked.”
Calcutt closed with, “To my peers, my classmates, the Class of 2019, my hope is that you will try new flavors, discover new textures, that you will enjoy old favorites and find some new ones. Continue to grow into the people that God created you to be. May God bless you. And as Forrest said, ‘That’s all I have to say about that.’”
The presentation of the 2019 graduation candidates along with diplomas and certificates was given by Principal Maurice Cannon Sr., along with Dr. Franklin Foster, Superintendent of Schools, and Timothy Mabry, chairman of the Colleton County School Board, Shon Johnson and Bria Burke. They were assisted by the CCHS counselors and the Class of 2019 advisors.
The Turning of the Tassels was led by Shaleen Gwynn Rose Creel. Following the singing of the alma mater, Lance Calcutt, held the Benediction. The Class of 2019 recessional, Pomp and Circumstance, closed the ceremony.
Distinguished Honor Graduates (minimum 4.3 cumulative GPA) included Lance John Berkeley Calcutt, Thomas Russell Warren, James McTeer Bunton, Kensley Abigail Dantzler, Laura Grace Lucas, William Garrett Collins, Shornden Preston McCloud, Cameron Grace Coursen, Elizabeth Marie McLaughlin, Hermosa Ayana Sanders, Jimeque Raekwon Brown, Dyneira X-ionna Brown, Dalton Lee Moore, Terrence Michael Brown, Abigail Nicole Branch, Lacey Santana Stanley, Megan Marie Newton, Wyatt Nathaniel O’Quinn, Caroline Harper Duffie, Alexandria Blake Eaddy, Tylan Javar Latrell Gant, Shaleen Gwynn Rose Creel, Amber Hope Warren, Rylee Ann Chandler, Robert Harold Adams, Addisyn Claire Fee, Rachel Faith Williams, James Montgomery Bailey, Caleb Alexander Grinberg, Kasheyonna Ty’Keira Dasha David, Karrington Marie Reed, Shelby Lyn Crabb, Jacob Samuel Havers, Paulina SanJuan Jha’Heem A’mari Wright, Kevin Morales, TiAsia Keyanna Powell, Delaney Emerson Howard, Marci Evette Inabinett, Kar’i Te’Aisha Edwards, Wesley Patrick Bryan, Olivia Kay Langdale, Stephanie McKayla Givens, Savannah Lee Reid, Joshua Dontae Thurman and Stephanie Grace Hooker.
Honor Graduates (4.0-4.29 cumulative GPA) included Sutton Brooks Behie, Nicholas William Jackson, Joseph Willard Litchfield, Ashley Lauren Beach, Willow Jean Roberts, Krista Kamira McLauren, Ja’Niah Lasha Francis, Kendall Susanne Bell, Jackson Steele Morelli, Morgan Alexis Lee, Hannah Elizabeth Caldwell, Breanna Lynn Varnadoe, Cody Len Cox, Kortney Disan-Ashton Edwards, Alaina Marie Mitchell, Christian Paul Lee, John Andrew Frank, Corey Wayne Bowman, Shaterria Kalia Mays, Thomas Warren Frank, Larry Jay’Von Lightsey, India Neijie Renee Stokes, Brionna Kimbraisha James and Shaniya Jaylin Fields-Manigo.
Head Marshals were Madison Lea Strickland and Megan Emily DeWitt.
Marshals included Jasmine Leyva, Abigail Lamb Altman, Grayson Wyman Altman, Ethan Noah Thurston, Janet Princess Taylor, Sarah Aleah Ward, Bennie Bernache Rios and William Francis Finnigan.
Ushers included Ashlyn Bailee Ballew, Shaleishia Nierra Funn, Ashley Ellen Reid, Matilyn Delores Griffin, Olivia Claire Stephens, Donae Myamee-Tyla Bowens, Teniia Micazia Brown, Alexa Katherine Farnsworth, Damitria Jocelyn Green, Ronald Anthony Nettles, Nicholas Austin Armentrout, Hans Yuri Buraga Gabriel, Ashley Jordan Savage and Logan Hunter Bailey.