HHS Principal to graduates: strive to be strong and resilient

Hartsville High School held a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2018 on June 7 before a capacity crowd in the HHS Arena.

After joining in the singing of the HHS Alma Mater, the audience heard “The Legend of the Cap and Gown,” a parable about the history of the robes and mortar boards traditionally worn by graduates. Students Mary Margaret Cottingham, Whitney Kirkley, and Jordyn Alexander read the story, which dates these simple habiliments to ancient Greece, where young scholars wore sackcloth and carried a mortar board to symbolize their duty to become builders of cites, of lives, with a foundation of knowledge.

Graduate Caroline Surrett gave a spirited farewell speech focused on the importance of making sound choices in studies, friendships, and the building blocks of their own personal character.

“Arguably, the most important choice we make is which type of person to become. We were told from the beginning that Hartsville High School is not a building, but a group of people. As I’ve had the privilege of watching so many of you grow up over the last four years to become such wonderful athletes, musicians, students, role models, artists, and so much more, I realize just how true that statement is. Each graduate in front of me today has a unique set of talents and gifts that have been used to create our Hartsville High School – a school distinct from that of the past or the future,” said Surrett.

“As we leave this place, wherever we may be headed, I truly believe that the class of 2018 has the potential to do great things, but I choose the word ‘potential’ for a reason. Great things do not often happen by coincidence; doing great things is a choice. It’s a choice that requires conscious effort. It’s a choice that requires building a strong support system. And it’s a choice that, most importantly, requires true, unadulterated passion for what you are doing.”

Before the presentation of diplomas, HHS principal Dr. Charlie Burry shared a message about the importance of maintaining integrity in the face of difficulties, and striving to become strong and resilient so that the best of one’s character is revealed in hard times.

Find photos from the Hartsviille Graduation here.

Author: mrollins

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