Surry 2024 graduates ‘a different class,’ valedictorian says

Published 11:23 am Thursday, June 13, 2024

Four years before Surry County High School valedictorian Amiya Shears walked across the stage to receive her diploma, she began her high school experience virtually.

A month ahead of Sept. 8, 2020 – the first day of her freshman year – Surry’s School board opted to keep its schools closed in the wake of the then-uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 and the first vaccines still three months away.

Shears, who’s headed this fall to Virginia Commonwealth University with 41 college credits already earned through dual enrollment through Brightpoint Community College in Midlothian, called the pandemic a “major turning point” in the lives of her 56 fellow SCHS graduates.

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“It was at this point the cycle of evolution kicked in,” Shears said. “This is why we are a different class.”

This year’s commencement speaker was Kristie King, a 2000 graduate of SCHS who now heads Kre8tive Connect Inc., a marketing and media agency.