With storms the previous night and a cloudy sky on Saturday morning, proud friends and family filled North Iredell High School’s gym to cheer on the Class of 2019.
As red-robed graduates filed in, one in particular got a rousing cheer. Kevin Josey entered the gym and waved his arms, pumping the crowd up until they cheered and applauded the graduates.
Each of the 226 members of the Class of 2019 got a rose and diploma. Family and friends called out, clapped or stood as their graduate walked across the stage.
Class President Dylan Coltrane welcomed the graduates and their supporters.
“Today, we are here for the momentous event in our lives. In a couple short hours, we will become adults and our high school careers will be over,” Coltrane said. “We have finished the homework, done the tests, passed the classes and played the games. We’ve formed friendships.”
Coltrane and the three graduating honor speakers reflected on the last four years the class had spent together.
“Look around and see the memories. See the laughs, the tears, the fun, the stress, the good and bad. Remember all of it. Remember because this is it,” Coltrane said. “This is probably going to be the last time we’re all together in the same place.”
Clayton Gates opened his speech with a moment of silence for the North Iredell students, alumni and previous or current staff that had passed in the last year.
Hunter Tharpe reflected on all of the academic and athletic achievements the class had made. He mentioned the $3.4 million the class had earned in scholarships and the championships athletic teams had won.
“No matter who it was that helped you get through these four years, they’re all important,” Matthew Hendry said. “I’m also sure that all of these people helped shape who you are today. You should give these people your utmost thanks, and as you move to the future, always remember them and what they’ve done for them.”
GOOD IN THE WORLD
Tharpe talked about other achievements the Class of 2019 had made as well, ones that didn’t have to do with sports or academics.
Students had ringed the track around North Iredell’s football field, praying for cancer victims.
Tharpe also mentioned how students had raised thousands of dollars to give Kevin Josey, a 2019 graduate and a previous student in the exceptional children’s class, his dream by partnering with Charlotte non-profit Dream on 3.
When Tharpe mentioned Josey, the graduates and auditorium broke into cheers once more.
“Though all these achievements show the class of 2019 is composed of excellent students and athletes, that’s not what’s most important. What’s most important is being a good person,” Tharpe said. “I know there is good in this world because I see it every day at this school.”