WINNSBORO — Richard Winn Academy’s 2014 graduating class has been accepted to more than 20 different colleges and universities. The 23 graduates have been offered $1,471,518 in scholarship money over their four years of college.
Following the traditional processional of administrators, faculty/staff, and graduates to “Pomp and Circumstance,” class president Sarah Coleman opened the May 22 ceremony in the school’s gymnatorium with an invocation. She was followed by Sarah Grier Thompson, class vice president, who led everyone in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and in the singing of the National Anthem. Next, Board Chairman Palmer Nicholson shared a few words of welcome to everyone.
Salutatorian Sarah Coleman then returned to the podium to give her own rendition of the class history. Following this, numerous special awards and scholarships were announced and presented by Dr. Nancy Coleman, Head of School, and Krista Bellomy, director of Student Services, and by special guest presenters.
Valedictorian Alexa Karoly delivered the commencement address prior to the diploma presentation by Coleman and Nicholson. A number of the graduates elected to have an alumnus family member(s) present their diplomas. Once all the new graduates had diplomas in hand, the traditional moving of the tassels in unity took place. Next the audience enjoyed a video presentation featuring each of the 23 seniors.
Before the ceremony concluded, class treasurer Anna Cooke led everyone in singing the Alma Mater, and then Victoria Durham, class secretary, closed it out with a benediction. After recessing to “Allegro Maestoso” by Handel, the graduates made the traditional toss of the caps in unison and in celebration of reaching this milestone.
On the Sunday evening prior to graduation, a baccalaureate service was held at Bethel ARP Church with the service being conducted by the Rev. James McManus and Dr. Clyde McCants. McCants, a retiring RWA faculty member and ARP pastor, delivered the baccalaureate sermon. Special music was provided by senior Mason Gibbons on guitar and vocalist, senior Sarah Grier Thompson, vocalist, and accompanied by Ellen Nicholson, organist, as they performed “On Eagle’s Wings.” Following the service, a reception was held in honor of the graduates in the church fellowship hall.
Earning the top junior marshal honors of escorting the seniors, administrators, and faculty were Hannah Silvia (Head Marshal), Emily Brigman, Cassie Rae Cantrell, Matt Taylor, Madison Spang, Cassidy Branham, Jordan Parris, Hunter Gibbons, and Jessie Stidham.
The members of the RWA Class of 2014 who were recipients of special recognition and scholarships include the following:
• Alexa Karoly: The Miller Scholastic Achievement Award, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Top 10%, the Beta Club scholarship, Palmetto Fellows, and SCISA Certificate of Honor
• Sarah Coleman: Richard Winn Academy Scholars Award, the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce Top 10%, SCISA Certificate of Honor, Fairfield Soil and Water Conservation District Scholarship, 2013-2014 Wendy’s High School Heisman, and Governor’s Citizenship Award
• Austin Costenbader: Winnsboro Rotary Club, Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce Scholarship, and George J. Hollis, Jr. Memorial Scholarship
• Mason Gibbons: Stephen Roof Memorial Scholarship, DAR Good Citizen Award, and Heart of the Eagle Award
• Patrick Pope: Collin Truesdale Memorial Scholarship and the RWA Booster Club Scholarship; Hampton Caughman – RWA PTO Scholarship
• Victoria Durham: Spirit of Nursing Scholarship and First Citizen’s Bank Scholarship
• Anna Cooke: Winnsboro Woman’s Club Scholarship, SCISA Certificate of Honor, Mt. Zion Society Scholarship, and Wilson Chevrolet Scholarship
• Lauren Faust: SC Representative Mary Gail Douglas Scholarship
• Anna Grey Walters: Mildred Moore Hite Memorial Scholarship
• Jason Branham: USC Lancaster Scholarship
• Levi Davis: ZuZammen Book Club Award
• Joseph Goldin: The Sam Arnette Family Scholarship
• Sarah Grier Thompson: The RWA Faculty/Administration Scholarship