By Amy Jo Martin, firstname.lastname@example.org
1:28 AM EDT, June 14, 2014
NEW KENT – The 218 New Kent High School students that graduated Friday night at the VCU Siegal Center are up to the challenge of becoming “heroes.”
Class of 2014 NKHS President Mikel Davion Chalmers encouraged the graduates to aim to be heroes in the world by having:
•H: Heart – “Dig deep to define your true character”
•E: Endurance – “The race isn’t given to the swift”
•R: Rebellion – “Be a rebel for a cause and get up when you’re pushed down”
•O: Originality – “There are seven billion people in this world but no one is just like you. Stay true to yourself.”
“I challenge you to become a hero in your lifetime,” Chalmers said,
According to Chalmers, each grad owes it to every person in their lives and educational career and themselves to become a hero.
Chalmers, who will be attending Liberty University in the fall, not only gave an uplifting speech to his classmates but also presented one of the Class of 2014’s heroes, outgoing NKHS principal Yvonne Jones with a plaque.
Jones is retiring after 40 years in education and 14 years as the NKHS principal.
New Kent Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Robert “Rick” Richardson, Jr. was another hero that was recognized for his 44 years in education and seven years with New Kent County.
Two other heroes recognized by the Class of 2014 were late classmates, Cyndal Ward and Jacob Vick.
The seniors wore red ribbons in honor Ward, who died in a tragic car accident in October 2012. She would have been part of the Class of 2014.
The students also took a moment of silence for Vick, a sophomore who died during football practice in October 2013.
According to Richardson, the seniors are already on their way to being heroes. The seniors were awarded $833,017 in scholarships, with several going into U.S. military.
They also excelled academically and athletically throughout the year despite the tragedy of losing Vick during the football season, Richardson said.
“The seniors led their teammates as men with strength, prayer, and a commitment to brotherhood that cannot be taught,” Richardson said.
“I think the entire student body helped the adults to understand what it means to care, support and embrace one another. What a tremendous job you all have done. Thank you.”
Martin can be reached by phone at 804-885-0040.
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