“I’m just getting ready to graduate and go off to school,” she said nonchalantly Thursday afternoon.
She’s been accepted to both UNC-Pembroke and Elizabeth City State University, but chosen UNC-P to study Accounting and Business Administration.
“It feels weird, because this is really the end,” she said. “My Mom and Dad are happy for me, but I think they’re a little nervous, too. When I got accepted into Elizabeth City State, I called my Mom on the phone and told, and my Dad came flying home and was like, ‘Why didn’t you wait for us to open the letter.’”
Broady future is mapped out, but many seniors are still grappling with the present senior adviser Jewell Price said.
“They have a lot of work to do, because it’s not over for them until we have the final exams,” she said.
She encourages students, and their parents, to resist the temptation to let up at the end.
“It’s an exciting time for them,” she said. “And really, it should be the first step in a process, as students go off to higher learning institutions, the workforce or the military. High school graduation is not accomplished by the student alone, though. Parents and family members have seen them through these years of hard work.”
As seniors prepare for their final exam period at Richmond Senior, Price said the most important thing is to study in the weeks leading up to the tests.
“Cramming is better than not studying at all, but it’s much better to be studying in the weeks leading up to exams,” she said. “Other than that, get plenty of rest, make sure that you get a good breakfast and relax and take the exam.”
Ann Yarborough is the secretary to the principal at RSHS and she is heading up the preparations for the graduation ceremony itself.
“It’s a year-long process,” Yarborough said. “And for the students, it’s a 13-year long process.”
She said it takes over a month to prepare the junior marshals, get all the caps and gowns and diplomas and double-check everything for mistakes.
“We’re talking about dozens of man hours — even more than dozens,” she said. “But it’s a wonderful ceremony we have at Raider Stadium, and we have the best parents and grandparents and family members in North Carolina.”
She said in the past, some have traveled thousands of miles to see their student walk across the stage.
“Whenever they’re asked to hold their applause to the end, most of them cooperate, and it helps us to conduct the ceremony,” she said.
Yarborough said the event will feature fireworks, performances from the band and the chorus and JROTC involvement.
“You want to dress nice, but dress comfortable,” she said. “What I would like the community to understand is that this is about the graduating seniors of 2009. It’s not about them. It’s our responsibility to not take away from this experience for them.”
Final exams will be held at the high school from June 5-10.
The first block exam will be held on the fifth from 8 a.m. to 11:20 a.m. Second block exam is at the same time on June 8, and third and fourth block exams will be held on the ninth and 10th, respectively.
Dismissal will be at 1:20 on the ninth, and buses will run at 11:35. On the 10th, all lunches will come at 11:27, and buses will run at 11:45.
Commencement exercises will be conducted at 8 p.m. June 12 at Raider Stadium on the campus of RSHS.