Vance ceremony has laughter, tears

May. 23, 2014 @ 09:37 PM

Tears fell Friday night at Vance County Early College High School commencement ceremony — and the day leading up to it.

“I’ve already cried like three times today,” graduate Megan Cottrell said. “It’s been emotional, but happy and overwhelming at the same time.”

Salutatorian Tania Alvarando also broke down on stage during her farewell speech when she mentioned her mother, who she described as her backbone.

After the crowd encouraged her to continue by clapping their hands, she gave an intimate thank you to her mother in Spanish.

Friends and family of these two graduates and 28 others filled the Vance-Granville Community College civic center for a 30-minute ceremony that included humor as well as a teary farewell.

“Tonight, we graduate a bunch of rebels,” said Principal Michael Bullard.

Valedictorian Amber Maddox gave a short farewell speech and described Bullard as the “bald man with the crazy laugh” while thanking him and the rest of the administration for the hard work put in to get her  and her peers to this point.

Most students were ecstatic about receiving their diplomas and degrees as the second graduating class of the early college.

Jonathan Bullock, who received his high school diploma, said he was nervous.

As many students took pictures, primped and looked out the windows to see their parents arriving, he sat by himself in a state of reflection before the ceremony began.

“Part of me is like I am ready to cross the stage because I have been waiting for it so long, but I kind of got use to it here and I am going to miss it,” he said.

Most parents were ecstatic for their children’s future. Janice Boyd came to the graduation to see her grandson Bruce Hayes receive his high school diploma.

She said she witnessed both of Vance County Early College’s graduations. Her eldest grandson graduated last year.

“It was a beautiful ceremony, and I certainly enjoyed it both years,” Boyd said. “ I think this school is doing a lot for the community as far as putting students in a different environment to succeed.”

Boyd said her family is raising money for Hayes’ dream to complete a mission trip to Australia.

“I’ve had a lot of luck in my lifetime,” Boyd said. “I just want to see him go as far as he wants to go.”

 

Contact the writer at dhairston@hendersondispatch.com.