Ed Tech Center graduates 49 students

Published 9:25 pm Tuesday, June 18, 2019

It was a day to be celebrated for the graduating seniors of the Beaufort County Ed Tech Center on Saturday. For the 49 Phoenixes who walked across the stage, the moment represented the overcoming of early obstacles in life and a resurrection from past mistakes.

“It has truly been my honor to be your principal,” Ed Tech Principal Victoria Hamill told the graduates. “We have become family. We protect one another. We push one another. We hold one another accountable, even when you don’t like it. While our paths are not always direct to the goal, we have worked together to make it to the finish line.”

Following remarks from Hamill, Ed Tech counselor Chynna Bonner recognized individual students who had special awards and scholarships. Rayeshalyn Satterthwaite was awarded the Best of Class award, as well as the Principal’s Award. Zorriah Yarrell was honored for receiving the Daughters of Worth Glam Girl of the Year Scholarship.

Serving as commencement speaker for the day, Pitt County Sheriff Paula Dance shared her own story of overcoming obstacles and past mistakes. Dance, elected to that office last November, is the first African-American female sheriff in the State of North Carolina, and only one of five in the United States. Using the school’s mascot, the phoenix, as an example, of what the graduates should strive for.

“The phoenix has long been a symbol of rebirth, immortality and renewal,” Dance said. “We should model ourselves, in our lives, after the phoenix, by knowing out of troubled circumstance, comes eventual good. We should know that hope never dies and that beauty can come out of the ashes of burned obstacles.”

Dance encouraged the students to not wait for the perfect circumstances, but to start where they stand with the tools they have, to show determination and to not let their circumstances today dictate their circumstances of tomorrow.

Following Dance’s speech, each graduate was recognized and awarded their diplomas, prompting celebration and cheers from the audience. Once all the diplomas were awarded, the class turned their tassels to set out into the world, with the best wishes of their teachers behind them.

HAPPY DAY: For the Ed Tech Class of 2019, Saturday’s graduation ceremony marked a happy milestone after overcoming obstacles in their lives that might have otherwise prevented them from receiving their diplomas. (Matt Debnam/Daily News)