Years of grade school came to a successful conclusion for the Altavista High School class of 2019 on Saturday. The 77 graduating members of the class marked the end of a stage in their lives and the beginning of another in commencement exercises Saturday at the Vines Center on the campus of Liberty University. A record 34 seniors finished as honor graduates.
Principal Tyrone Gafford presided at the event. In his remarks to the graduating class, Gafford provided valuable life lessons gleaned from the Rocky films. He urged the outgoing seniors to fight adversity in their lives but reminded them that they cannot fight all alone.
“Choose wisely the people to support you in those difficult times…. They must know how much you love them, and you must know how much they love you.” He spoke of unconditional love, brotherly love, and love and respect as crucial in facing life’s challenges, citing the example of Rocky and Apollo Creed’s brotherly love.
“There will be battles when people criticize you and treat you unfairly,” he observed. “Win by your kind words, generosity, and forgiving them.” He concluded his remarks with an impressive imitation of Rocky’s familiar cry, “Yo Adrian!”
Cameron Cheek delivered the Salutatory Address, offering thanks to family, teachers, and friends who helped him achieve success. “Never forget the friendships and memories you made at this school,” he urged his classmates. Cheek will be attending Virginia Tech next year.
For more photos and graduation stories, see this week's Altavista Journal.