Class of 2002 marches into history |

Class of 2002 marches into history

by Teri Vance, Appeal Staff Writer
Julian Angres celebrates as he walks towards the podium to recieve his high school diploma at Carson High School Saturday. Photo by Brian Corley

Although principal Glen Adair has organized about 22 high school graduation ceremonies, the thrill is still there.

“For me, it never gets old,” he said. “This is the biggest event of the school year. It’s what makes the struggle great for these kids.”

Nearly 500 Carson High School seniors marched in commencement exercises Saturday morning, with the distinction of graduating from the top high school in the state.

Representatives from State Farm and the NIAA presented the school with the Award of Excellence for achievements in academics, athletics and citizenship.

“You are all to be commended for your commitment to accountability,” said school board president Bob Crowell. “You, your staff and the students of Carson High School have every reason to be proud of these achievements.”

But pride wasn’t all students were feeling as they rounded the final curve of their high school careers.

“It’s scary,” said Katie Dill, 18. “You have all these emotions — happy, sad, excited.”

Timothy Mayes, 19, was so excited it was hard to feel anything else.

“The excitement is roaring through my body,” he said. “This is one of the 10 biggest days of my life.”

Caralee Bradshaw, 18, had been planning for this day since elementary school when she decided she would graduate as valedictorian.

“I wanted to set my goals high,” she said. “I figured this was the highest I could go, at least in high school.”

Co-valedictorian Carson Adams, 17, also set the goal long ago.

“It was always something I thought would happen,” he said. “I knew I would have to work hard and if I did, it would happen. It’s just neat being recognized.”

Megan Lavelle, 18, was happy just to participate in the ceremony.

“I didn’t think I was going to make it,” she said. “I was a half a credit short and it was really hard but I made it up. I’m really proud that I’m here.”

Jennifer Lance, 18, hadn’t decided on an emotion.

“It hasn’t sunk in yet that we’re finally graduating,” she said. “It will probably happen when they call my name.”

Salutatorian Patricia Province, along with the valedictorians, read the students’ names as they crossed the stage.

“It’s kind of nerve wracking to have to pronounce other people’s names,” she said.

But she was happy to be in the position at the top of the class.

“I’ve always tried to do my best,” she said. “I wasn’t really expecting it so it was a nice surprise.”