RACINE — “I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship.”
Salutatorian of the Southern High School Class of 2012 Abbie Leigh Williams quoted Louisa May Alcott as she spoke to her fellow graduates.
“To me this says to go forward at full force, unafraid of what could happen, because in the end, it’ll be worth it,” said Williams.
“We will occasionally cross paths with a storm but we can’t turn back afraid, we must venture in, with all we have, because the outcome will be great, it’ll be a lesson learned.”
Williams concluded by saying, “the future is scary and uncertain but we can not go into our new lives afraid. We will fall and we will rise, both for the better. We will continue to learn and grow as people. And, most importantly, we will continue to dream with all we have and succeed in all we do.”
Following the salutatorian address by Williams, co-Valedictorian Hope Nicole Teaford gave her valedictorian address.
Teaford started by thanking everyone for being there for the graduation ceremony.
“The support from our families, teachers and even one another is what has been able to get us here today,” said Teaford. “Every study session with my friends, every review sheet from my teachers and the praise from my parents are what have gotten me through school. I am so thankful for all of those aspects.”
Of the Class of 2012, Teaford said, “We’re loud and obnoxious, but I wouldn’t want to graduate with any other class. We all mean something to each other and I’m so glad that I am able to say that.”
Teaford concluded by thanking not only her parents, but the parents of the the other graduating seniors. “We are all so happy that you are so proud of us,” Teaford said.
Co-Valedictorian Courtney Nicole Thomas gave the final address of the evening.
“We get to start anew,” said Thomas. “We say goodbye to people we like and don’t like, and hello to others we may or may not care for at all. We all start our new journey together, yet apart. We leave this familiar setting and move toward the unknown.”
Thomas thanked teachers and Principal Otto, noting special things each has provided to the student’s high school experience.
“We have much to reflect on from our time at Racine Southern — so many memories together, whether they be good, bad, or embarrassing enough that we’d just rather forget,” said Thomas. “We have added sports banners to these walls, we have started new traditions and ended old ones.”
Thomas noted that in four years those in the class will have titles, ranging from nurse to welder, and business man to petroleum engineer or psychologist. “When we return in four years…we’ll say thank you to Marcus Hill and Dyllan Roush for serving our country.”
Principal Daniel Otto recognized the parents and grandparents of the Class of 2012, staff and faculty of Southern Local, and the board members.
Otto recognized the Top 10/Honorarians, National Honor Society members, those receiving honors diplomas and those receiving the award of merit.
Class President Courtney Nicole Thomas welcomed those in attendance to start the evening’s ceremony, with vice president Abbie Leigh Williams having the invocation.
Student Council President Emily Laurin Ash led the Pledge of Allegiance, followed by the Southern band playing Olympiada.
Following the changing of the tassels, the Class of 2012 lead all those in attendance in the Alma Mater.
Olivia Noelle Searls then had the benediction, followed by the recessional played by the Southern band.
Graduates of the Class of 2012 receiving diplomas on Sunday evening were, Michelle Lynn Alley, Martina Dawn Arms, Emily Laurin Ash, Dylan Joseph Michael Bass, Cierra Nicole Bement, Andrew Keith Blankenship, David Justin Brown, Ceairra Elizabeth Mia Curran, Dustin James Custer, Devin Matthew Dillard, Justin William Engle, Bethany Nicole Ferrell, Bradley Allen George, Andrew Joseph Ginther, Joshua Lee Goodnite, Robert Chase Graham, Amber Dawn Hayman, Austin Richard Hill, James Marcus Hill, Katelyn Raelle Hill, Chelsea Renee Holter, Miranda Ariel Holter, Kelly Dawn Humphrey,
Jesse Daniel Covert Lamar, Haley Marie Linkous, Emily Sue Manuel, Natalie Brooke Marler, Todd Ethan Martin, Morgan Alexis McMillan, Michael Jeffrey Meldau II, Clayton Austin Moore, Emma Louise Powell, Jessica Michelle Riffle, Nathan Wyatt Roberts, Andrew Morgan Roseberry, Dyllan Cole Roush, Olivia Noelle Searls, Elizabeth Mari Shuler, Kelsey Moriah Strang, Ryan Dakota Taylor, Hope Nicole Teaford, Courtney Nicole Thomas, Haley Dawn Tripp, Sara Renea Van Cooney, Abbie Leigh Williams, Catherine Christine Wolfe, Justin Michael Young.