A Final Farewell: West Point High holds 2018 commencement

West Point High School's class of 2018 graduated Sunday in a ceremony at Humphrey Coliseum. The class of approximately 200 students also amassed more than $1 million in scholarship offers. (Photos by Charlie Benton, SDN)
Staff Writer

Family and friends filled Humphrey Coliseum Sunday afternoon to see West Point High School’s class of 2018 graduate.

Close to 200 seniors graduated, and the class amassed $1,516,000 in scholarship offers. Synethia Mathews was valedictorian and Alvin Carter III was salutatorian. The class also included 19 honor graduates.

“To my fellow classmates, I would like to say thank you to each and every one of you for being yourselves and being different,” said third ranked honor graduate Arresta Davis.

Davis also thanked parents and teachers, and cited the Bible verses Philippians 3:13 and Ecclesiastes 1:2.

“Regardless of what you have done in the past, whether good or bad, it has helped shape your present and even your future,” Davis said. “It is up to you to allow it to continue to influence our future, but it’s up to us to make sure we steer it in the right direction.”

In his address, Carter also thanked his family and encouraged his classmates to not be afraid of what the future might hold. He also acknowledged his pastor and church community’s role in helping him on his journey.

“Although it seems like it took so long to get here, today is one of the most significant and life-changing events in our lives,” Carter said.

In her valedictorian address, Mathews discussed the importance of the future.

“Just because we don’t know exactly what our future will be, it doesn’t exempt us or give us an excuse not to prepare for the future,” Mathews said. “After we leave this building today, we will embark on our different journeys. Some of us will go into the workforce and others will go to community college or trade school. To those who are planning to serve the military, I extend my gratitude to you for keeping our country safe. Then there are the ones who are going to a university. I hope all of you fit in one of these categories. If not I wish you the best in whatever you do since none of us went through 12 years of school just to become couch potatoes.”

Several other graduates participated in the ceremony, including Daysia Randle, who gave the invocation, Chamiya Brownlee, who gave a welcome speech, Jayla Smith, who led the Pledge of Allegiance and Brittney Brown and Angela Whitehead, who sang the National Anthem. Cadets from the WPHS Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (JROTC) presented the Colors.