Surry County HS graduates 56

Published 11:35 pm Tuesday, June 16, 2020

On Saturday morning, Surry County High School graduated 56 seniors via a nontraditional drive-thru ceremony, followed by a parade later that afternoon down School Street.

Raven Pierce, who was featured in last week’s Smithfield Times as the winner of the 2020 Congressional Art Competition for Virginia’s 4th District, was named co-valedictorian with Dionna Charity. Jordan Miller was named salutatorian.

While the COVID-19 pandemic and associated restrictions on large gatherings prevented the school from hosting an in-person commencement speaker, Kristie King, a graduate of the SCHS class of 2000, delivered her remarks via YouTube.

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“You were born post-9/11. You were 6 years old when the first black president was elected into office, President Barack Obama,” King said. “I know it’s hard to not experience the traditional senior year and your feelings are extremely valid, but what if your story was incomplete until right now in this moment? These things are happening to you for you and because the world needs to know that this class can withstand, inner-stand and over-stand the importance of understanding the unknown. There’s no force that compares to what God has made you to be. You will not be contained. You are a generation that is unwilling to yield, to give in or give up.”

While some local schools are planning to host a more traditional graduation ceremony later this year, SCHS Principal Giron Wooden Jr. confirmed that the drive-thru commencement and parade would be the only ceremony for Surry.