A senior year that seemed to fly by ended Saturday morning for the Spring Creek class of 2022.
Nearly 150 seniors turned their tassels during a graduation ceremony held inside Kornegay Arena on the University of Mount Olive campus.
“Today is a day to sit back, take a deep breath and recognize how hard we worked,” said Neida Perez, senior class vice president. “Today, we are moving forward into tomorrow with so many lessons learned from our experience. We all have potentials and possibilities before us.”
The senior class also made its mark.
Destiny Wilson, senior class treasurer, felt she and her fellow grads should give something of themselves to the tiny rural school outside Seven Springs.
“It is a customary tradition for the graduating class to bestow gifts to school upon graduation,” Wilson said. “And we like to think of it as making our mark and leaving our legacy to the place that we have called home for the past four years.
“It is my pleasure to present on the behalf of the class of 2022, an electric water bottle filling station to be placed outside the gym for student use. It will be an available source of hydration throughout the day and will make it easier to have access to water.”
Edgar Victoriano-Apolonio, who will study abroad in the UK, presented the closing speech. Meanwhile, fellow senior Jahayra Perez Velasquez asked her classmates to rise and turn their tassels, which drew loud cheers from the standing-room-only crowd inside the arena.
Seniors wore numerous colored cords that represented the National Honor Society, Honor Graduates, NC Academic Scholars, National Art Honor Society, Health Sciences Academy, Agriculture Academy and Microsoft IT Academy Specialists.
The 36-minute affair also marked the end of Stephen Clingan’s 19-year tenure as principal at Spring Creek. He has announced his retirement and will be replaced by Wendy Waters, who currently serves as assistant principal.
Summa Cum Laude graduates (graduating with the highest distinction) were Claire Denton, Anna Evans, Nicholas Jones, Yerika Lopez-Garcia and Destiny Wilson.
Magna Cum Laude graduates (graduating with great distinction) were Jackson Evans, Riley Hill, Jahayra Perez Velasquez, Susan Santos-Diaz, Robert Strickland and Edgar Victoriano-Apolonio.
Cum Laude graduates (graduating with distinction) were Brianna Alcerro-Castro, Calvin Alphin, Linzy De Jesus-Merida, Oswaldo Escudero, Yaeli Espinosa-Chavez, Tatiyanna Grizzle, David Hannaford, Olivia Hernandez-Tierros, Neida Perez, Esther Perez-Perez, Linda Ponce, Ashley Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Sanchez, Evan Sutton and Cindy Torres.
North Carolina Academic Scholars were Calvin Alphin, Claire Denton, Lindzy De Jesus-Merida, Oswaldo Escudero, Yaeli-Espinosa Chavez, Anna Evans, Jackson Evans, David Hannaford, Olivia Hernandez-Tierros, Riley Hill, Nalleli Huerta, Nicholas Jones, Yerika Lopez-Garcia, Neida Perez, Jahayra Perez Velasquez, Linda Ponce, Ashley Rodriguez, Kaitlyn Sanchez, Maria Siquina and Destiny Wilson.