Sunday afternoon saw the end of an era in more ways than one. Members of the Garner Magnet High School Class of 2016 marched across the stage at the Raleigh Convention Center and collected their diplomas during commencement ceremonies. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from Sunday’s ceremony.
Who they are: The Garner Magnet High School Class of 2016 was 540 members strong. They are the last class that will complete their studies at the existing Garner High School, which will be renovated beginning this summer. The class includes 117 Distinguished Honor graduates, 65 Honor graduates and 30 graduates who earned International Baccalaureate diplomas.
Leaving something behind: The Class of 2016 said goodbye Sunday afternoon, but they are leaving a little something behind. Following a longstanding tradition, the class announced its gift to the school during commencement ceremonies. Morgan Hayes, the Class of 2016’s projects director, announced that the class has commissed a mural by Garner artist Vincent Woods that will be painted on a wall in the school once renovations are complete.
Introduction Acronym: Student relatons chair for the Class of 2016 Alex Johnson took an unusual tack to introduce Valedictorian Sarah Dancausse. She used each letter of Dancausse’s first name to describe one of her character traits: In case you wondered, S stands for smart, A stands for adventurous, R stands for radiant, A stands for athletic and H stands for headstrong.
Valedictorian and poet: Sarah Dancausse, the Valedictorian of Garner’s Class of 2016, said she doesn’t fancy herself a poet, but she found that was the best way to address her fellow classmates and the giant throng of family and friends that nearly filled the main floor of the Raleigh Convention Center. “The new is rooted in the old,” Dancausse said. “Remember the place you laid down your roots and you will always stand on firmer ground.”
Cool music: There’s not a particularly Irish-bent to the Garner Class of 2016, but Leah Godfrey, director of GMHS’s Die Meistersingers, led the choir through a soulful rendition of Danny Boy. As cavernous as the Raleigh Convention Center is, the sound was good and even the people sitting in the back row got a good look at the singers thanks to jumbo screens hanging from the ceiling throughout the hall.
Triple play: It’s safe to say there wasn’t a mother or a father in attendance at Sunday’s commencement ceremony that wasn’t proud of their graduate. But imagine the pride Kenneth and Julia Wrenn must have felt as they watch their triplets cross the stage, one after the other. Alexandra Wrenn will study at Applachian State University in the fall. William Hunter Wrenn will attend Wake Technical College with an eye toward building transfer credits to a four-year institution and Peyton Clark Wrenn has a job awaiting him with the Durham Bulls.