BY STACI WILSON
Retiring 12th grade English teacher Rebecca Williams offered some “life lessons” to the Blue Ridge Class of 2016 at Saturday’s graduation ceremony.
Williams, who taught for over 38 years, encouraged the graduates to celebrate – even the little things. “Cherish the time period in which you’ve grown up,” she said, noting historic changes they’ve seen in their years. She said there would be happenings that make them question the world’s integrity. “When you see the world lacking integrity, find it in yourself.”
In her parting words to the class, Williams said, “You got this. You are well-educated, well supported, and well loved. Remember who you are.”
The Blue Ridge Class of 2016 is “more than meets the eye behind the red and white gowns,” Salutatorian Viktoria Layton said, “…with a diverse set of abilities,” crediting the athletes, artists, engineers, writers, employees and poets on the stage with her. “I am more than happy to
have been given the opportunity to grow along with all of you as a class.”
Valedictorian Nolan Hausser also paid tribute to the class camaraderie. “We started from the bottom and my whole team is here.”
Hausser advised his fellow graduates to always have a positive attitude. “Every choice affects the next choice,” he said, “so make decisions with optimism.”
Class of 2016
Evan J.Aldrich, Desiree I. Alvarez, Lindy L. Arzola-Velez, Harley D. Atherholt, David L. Austin, Tatum J. Bennett, Summer N. Bledsoe, Amber N. Brecht, Brianna R. Brewer, Taylor L. Bronson, Halona A. Burgess, Alexandra K. Button, Strom D. Butts-Weaver, Kathryn R. Carpenter, Elliot D. Colwell, Katherine M. Colwell, Zachary K. Conrad, Aaron T. Cook, Brannon R. Cooper, Bailey K. Cramer, Tanisha A. Darrow, Jonathan D. DeMartino, Ashlee P. Derrick, Jordan J. Goff, Taylor R., Hall, Austin R. Harper, Bernadette Harris, Connor L. Hartman, Nolan K. Hausser, Cera A. Hearn, Kayla A. Helms, Ty E. Herbert, Kimberly A. Holbrook, Autumn M. Holgate, Terry K. Jackson, Noah J. Jennings, Makayla J. Kays, Michael J. Kelly, Kimberly A. Klim, Kaitlyn M. Konsur, Ben R. Kowalewski, Viktoria M. Layton, Natasha L. Luce, Nicole L. Luce, Andrea N. Martel, Dylan M. Monks, Zachary C.H. Morris, James S. Morton, Janelle H. Oakley, Julio E. Padilla, Harrison S. Parsons, Sarthak Patel, Dorie M. Penny, Tray J. Perry, Mathew A. Philpott, Kassidy E. Potter, Wesley R. Richardson, Abigail A. Row, Lindsey N. Rupakus, Makala M. Sharer, Jeremy M. Shiptoski, Amber N. Smith, Nathanyl J. Smith, Sabrina E. Smith, Marc R. Stanton, Jesse T. Stone, Nova R. Sullivan, Briar S. Susavage, Nicholas J. Swaha, Mikayla M. Tanzini, Audrey J. Tyler, Jady Viruet, Autumn A. Wayman, Summer B. Wega, Olivia P. White, Nicholas Wilmot, Bethany A. Yarrison.