Nearly 200 students graduate from Washington

Published 10:01 pm Sunday, June 11, 2017

Saturday morning at Choppy Wagner Stadium, about 200 students from Washington High School received their diplomas.

Washington was the first of four schools to hold graduation ceremonies on Saturday. The hour-long ceremony welcomed official guests, including Superintendent Dr. Don Phipps, Board of Education members and county commissioners, as well as faculty and staff dressed in robes.

This year’s valedictorian was Logan Little, and the salutatorian spot went to Zachary Pagnani.

Pagnani welcomed the students, staff and visitors to the stadium before Principal Michael Swinson began awarding the diplomas. Ben McKeithan gave the invocation, Samantha McClure led in the turning of the tassels, and DQ McCullough closed out the ceremony with the benediction.

In his valedictorian speech, Little chose a more humorous approach to the special day, but he also spoke of how unique it is to be a member of the Pam Pack alumni. He estimated that 20,750 people have graduated from Washington High during its 83-year history.

“There are 47,000 people in Beaufort County alone, 10 million in North Carolina, 321 million people in America, and 7.5 billion people in the world today, and only 20,750 can call themselves a Pam Pack,” Little said. “So, tomorrow morning when we wake up … no matter if you’re going to college, getting a job or joining the brave men and women of our Armed Forces, each of us will always be a Pam Pack, and that’s someone that no one else in the world can say.”

Board of Education Chairman Terry Williams said he thought the ceremony went as smoothly as it could’ve gone.

“We’re very proud of all these students,” he said. “The principal is doing a fantastic job at this school. The staff does a great job. We’ve got a lot of great things to come in this county, we really do.”

For the graduates of Beaufort County’s largest high school, there’ll be one last summer before the next chapter of their life begins.

“God bless all the teachers and staff that helped us get to this point. God bless the families and friends here today that shaped us into the young men and women we are today, and God bless the Pam Pack,” Little said.