Knightdale High School of Collaborative Design held its class of 2016 graduation ceremony Sunday, June 12, at the Raleigh Convention Center.
It was the school’s first graduation after a redesign to focus on collaboration among students and among students and faculty took effect for this school year. Principal Dr. Jim Argent has said the redesign has helped create a safe learning environment that students and faculty have responded to.
Here are some of the highlights of the ceremony:
By the numbers: The class of 2016 had 345 graduates. Of those, 52 graduated with honors with weighted grade point averages between 3.5 and 3.99, and 46 graduated with high honors with weighted GPAs of 4.0 and above.
The honor students wore a gold cord and those with high honors a black and gold cord.
“The little things”: Valedictorian Jordan Nichols began his address with a quote from novelist Kurt Vonnegut: “Enjoy the little things in life because one day you’ll look back and realize they were the big things.”
Students have goals as immediate as graduating from high school to longer-term goals like preparing for retirement, Nichols said, and any goal reached should be celebrated.
“It is is important to take time to appreciate our successes,” he said. “No matter how small.”
Waterproof: Salutatorian Rhianna Marusek noted that graduation marks a beginning of adult life as much as it marks an ending. As far as what’s next for students, Marusek said they can’t just spin a globe and go wherever their finger lands “because chances are you’ll hit water.”
Holding on: Class president Matt Weddle delivered a message about life being what the graduates will make of it. “Find what makes you happy and hold onto it as hard as you can,” he said.
Unique journeys: Argent noted that success means different things to different students, whether academically or on the stage or on the ball field. “Each of your journeys has been unique and hard fought,” he said.
Sooner rather than later: Joshua Schenck, who wants to play football for the University of Oklahoma, plans to study criminal justice. He was happy to graduate but also ready for the next chapter in his life.
“I am so ready to turn up,” he said of his college career.
Well-rounded: Kailee Wheeland, who plans to study agriculture education starting in the fall at Appalachian State, said her high school experience was about more than just the classroom. “I learned a lot more than just academic things,” she said, “like socially, clubs and things. FFA has been really big for me.”
Matt Goad: 919-829-4826