New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | June 27, 2022

Not an obstacle: Charles City High School’s Class of 2022 conquer all tasks towards graduating

By Andre Jones | June 11, 2022 12:23 pm

Charles City High School’s Class of 2022 await the official declaration as graduates during Saturday morning ceremonies.

Andre' Jones photos

Charles City County High School’s Class of 2022 overcame every obstacle thrown their way through their high school career. Saturday morning’s commencement ceremony made sure everyone in attendance knew that as well.

Twenty-eight members of the graduating class were recognized as part of the celebration inside of Charles City High School’s gymnasium.
Class President Syncere Smith opened the festivities with his comments on how powerful the class is, despite the low numbers.

“We’re a small class that survived through it all,” he commented. “We won’t be able to share this milestone with anybody else. I wouldn’t want to share it with anybody else but you all.”

Class Salutatorian Walter Dickerson reflected on the Class of 2022’s graduation and how they dealt with a number of changes.

“The transition to high school was hard,” he commented, saying how the middle and high school merged as one prior to his classes’ transition to the high school. “But through all those changes, we made it through with self-determination.

“We had to learn a new level of discipline during the pandemic,” Dickerson added, speaking on additional challenges they faced. “We were able to come back and finish here in the school, which is exciting and the right way.

“Live your life to the fullest,” the salutatorian said as he closed out his speech. “No matter what path in life you take, complete it with excellence and you won’t fail.”

Class Valedictorian Marisa Greenhow acknowledged those who were instrumental in not only her success, but the Class of 2022’s achievements as well.

“You all have pitched in some way, whether it was parents, teachers, counselors, family, friends, or coaches,” she said. “You all help mold us into the young adults that we are today.

“Today, all of our work has paid off,” Greenhow continued, turning her attention to her classmates. “Don’t forget to congratulate yourself. Remember, your status doesn’t define who you are and where you are from doesn’t define you. We are successful for what we did and will continue to be successful.”

Charles City High School Principal Marcus Petty Sr. commented about the culture effects the Class of 2022 has had.

“We had to have a change, and the Class of 2022 is that change,” he said. “I want to put this class in the world to be as safe and productive as possible.

“No one’s perfect,” Petty continued. “You can do nine things right, but people will always remember that one thing you did wrong. Remember to learn from your mistakes and harbor on the positives out there.”

Steward Greene Jr., the guest speaker at the event, advised the Class of 2022 to indulge in the moments and cherish their accomplishments.

“Despite the load and distractions, the learning process still takes place,” he said. “Take pride for how far you’ve come, the faith of where you can go, and don’t forget to enjoy the journey.

“You persevered and championed through it all,” Greene continued. “Lifelong learning will always be a start of your success.

“You’ve more equipped to handle then and you know what you need to do,” he added as his speech began to wind down. “You have countless opportunities. Seize them and be persistent. You have the foundation.”

Superintendent of Schools Dr. Dalphine Joppy concluded the ceremonies with a few words of encouragement.

“I encourage you all to have more successful completions in your life,” she said, mentioning the definition of graduation as just a completion of an event. “They may not come as quickly or instantly as you like.

“PUSH: Persevere Until Success Happens,” Joppy continued, mentioning the acronym. “Celebrate those accomplishments and remember who you are and where you came from.”

(L to R) Donta Cotman Jr. and Amaya Cox are joined by history teacher Adam Smith and rising senior Macee Adkins for a pre-ceremony picture.

A honor guard hoist sabers high in recognition of former JROTC student and graduate Tristan Jones for her years in the organization.

Waverly Richard (right) is smiles from ear-to-ear as she receives her diploma from Charles City High School Principal Marcus Petty Sr.

Em’Miyah Cotman exits the ceremony through a convoy of administrators and teachers after receiving her diploma.

Senior Class President Syncere Smith receives a huge embrace from his mother Darcell Walker when the two convened after graduation ceremonies.

Nevaeh Charity poses with her family as part of the memory-making process for reaching the monumental milestone in her life.