Warren graduates the ‘pride and joy’

May. 23, 2014 @ 10:46 PM

WARRENTON — The Warren Early College High School Class of 2014 had 24 graduates. Twenty-three of them walked across the stage Friday evening to receive their diplomas.

Each graduate approaching the stage placed a long-stem rose in a vase. The arrangement was presented to Jenina Kearney when she came forward to accept her daughter’s diploma. Lakeisha Delores Kearney did not live to receive it herself.

“We love you, Lakeisha,” came a voice from the graduates.

Twelve of the graduates also received associate of arts degree from Vance-Granville Community College along with their high school diplomas. Salutatorian De’Mone’ Jordan of Manson said she will use the college credit she earned in the program to enroll in the nursing program at East Carolina University.

Joshua Alston of Macon plans to attend the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and major in human biology. He said he hopes to continue on to medical school.

Taylor Reams said she will continue her education at VGCC in the radiology program.

Keynote speaker Thomas Conway, vice-chancellor of Fayetteville State University, told the graduates, “You really are a special group, and I hope you are beginning to realize that.”

He depicted past generations and told the class of 2014 that they are different.

“You are the wired generation,” he said. “Your competition won’t be with the kid from Vance County. It will be someone in China, India, Europe, Africa. They’ll be your competitors, but they will also be your greatest collaborators.”

Before the awarding of diplomas, valedictorian Katherine Low made a farewell speech on behalf of her classmates.

The presentation of diplomas by Principal Ryan Hurley, Superintendent of Schools Ray Spain, Board of Education Chairwoman Roberta Scott and school counselor Aimee Anderson was punctuated by cheers and applause as graduates crossed the stage.

VGCC Vice-president Angela Ballentine awarded associate degrees to 12 of the students.

Warren Early College High School began in 2008 as a collaboration between Warren County Schools and VGCC. The partnership enrolls students in a five-year program that allows them to earn high school diplomas and associate degrees simultaneously or accumulate two years of college credit to use in transferring to a four-year institution.

The 2014 class is the second group to complete the five-year program.

At the end of the ceremony, Hurley had the graduates stand and introduced them to the audience with “my incredible pride and gratitude.”

 

Contact the writer at dirvine@hendersondispatch.com.