WINNSBORO — Fairfield Central High School held its commencement ceremony for 185 students Saturday morning at E.K. Mclendon Stadium in Winnsboro.
Fairfield Central High School Principal Tracie Swilley certified that each student met the state of South Carolina’s and Fairfield County School District’s requirements for graduation.
Superintendent J.R. Green told the graduates the importance of high school graduation as a milestone.
“It (graduation) deserves much celebration,” he said. “But do not celebrate too long. The focus you have exemplified during the past 12 years will need to be repeated and intensified. Tomorrow there will be new challenges and obstacles to overcome. But with every challenge there will be an opportunity to do great things.”
Fairfield Central High School administrators were proud to announce that the Class of 2014 obtained $3,705,491 in scholarships and financial assistance.
Salutatorian Jada Martin stated how much she has looked forward to graduation during her commencement speech.
Regardless if a student was involved in athletics, student government or other educational classes, Martin said they were all proud to be a part of the Class of 2014’s commencement ceremony.
“One thing I can truly say is that we all wanted this moment today,” she said.
Martin continued to acknowledge each student’s drive and motivation.
“We all have to thank God for this moment as well as our parents,” she stated. “Without our parents and support system we would not be here today.”
Martin noted how much the Class of 2014 has been through including having three different principals in four years
“We were actually a great class and had more than what meets the eye,” she explained. “Before me I see future doctors, lawyers, teachers, leaders, athletes, members of the Armed Forces and because we overcome challenges we are prepared for the journey that awaits us.”
Martin congratulated the Class of 2014 for meeting the challenges of Principal Tracie Swilley at the start of the school year, which included having more students accepted to college than the Class of 2013, scholarship money, meeting requirements for off-campus lunch privileges and had the least number of discipline referrals.
“We did all that,” Martin said. “She (Swilley) expected greatness and I see greatness. As we leave this stadium, we have been equipped with everything we need to be successful and we are prepared to soar to greatness.”
Valedictorian Brandi Bell said the Class of 2014 is embarking on a new journey and is becoming a part of a new group of people as they move toward new goals.
“Today we start a new day with new horizons that will help us strive to become all we have wanted to become,” she stated. “Today we leave behind our identities of Griffins in order to take on new identities of new school mascots, new member of the military and new members of the workforce.”
Bell looked back to four years ago when her class first walked through the doors at Fairfield Central High School and now recognizes that the possibilities are as endless as the obstacles on the way to their goals.
“We are all here because we made it,” she said. “No it hasn’t been easy. We’ve had our share of ups and downs, but despite our challenges we pushed through.”
After talking to her fellow classmates, Bell said she realized the one thing the Class of 2014 was concerned with was the uncertainty of tomorrow. She challenged her classmates to make uncertainty their best friend.
“From this point on, our success will be determined by how we deal with the uncertainty of tomorrow and we learn to cope with change,” Bell said. “Therefore we all have to learn how to overcome uncertainty and not allow uncertainty to overcome us.”
She acknowledged that the task would not be easy, but believes her fellow Griffins have what it takes to be successful.
“The mythological creature (Griffin) is known for its power and majesty,” Bell said. “It is a creature that is thought to be the king of creatures and was identified by its strength and courage. My hope for all of us is to live up to these characteristics.”