New Tech grads prepare to go places
Oh, the places Hillside New Tech grads will go.
Dr. Seuss’ popular book, “Oh, The Places You’ll Go,” was a fitting backdrop for Hillside New Tech’s commencement exercise held Tuesday at McClendon-McDougald Gymnasium on the campus of N.C. Central University.
First, Fernanda Reyes-Salinas, senior class president, used the book for her inspirational reading.
And that was followed by a commencement address from Hillside High School Principal William T. Logan who wove passages from the book into his message to the 62 graduates of the small specialty school and the several hundred people in attendance.
Logan said the book was read to him and other first-year teachers in 1998 by a human resource coordinator in South Carolina.
He said parts of it stuck with him and continues today to keep him grounded and motivated.
“Dr. Seuss shared some profound wisdom that I think all of us could make part of our daily ritual,” Logan said.
He told the graduates that regardless of whatever shortcomings they might have, they are still perfect because they are made in God’s image and are all originals.
Logan said there can only be one LeBron James, Jay Z, Michelle Obama, Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, one Maya Angelou or Oprah Winfrey.
“Be glad that you are who you are,” Logan said. “Relish in it, love it, cherish it and don’t ever trade places with anyone because you are an original.”
He added: “You have brains in you head, is what Dr. Seuss said. So use your brain. Use it on a regular basis. Think before you speak. Use your brain to gain greater understanding. Use your brain to pay closer attention. Use your brain to listen to wisdom and to receive insight. Use your brain to embrace challenges, but most importantly, use you brain to solve the problems of the world today, tomorrow and moving forward.
Valedictorian Jeliyah Clark, who is heading off to UNC Chapel Hill in the fall, said graduation is a cause for celebration.
“I’ve never been too fond of our school colors but I can say that I’ve never been prouder of this tangerine orange than I am today,” Clark said
She said graduation means that “things are about to get real” for New Tech graduates.
“Hopefully, by now, we’ve learned a little something about how the world works,” Clark said.
Clark said earning a diploma also means each student can start to shed adolescent concerns and begin adult life with a clean slate.
“A fresh, new start, and most importantly a second chance to do things the right way,” Clark said. “Another chance to make memories, aspire to bigger goals, share more laughs and have a lot more fun.”
Adrian Dorsey, student body president, said he had mixed feeling about graduating.
“I’m feeling excitement in anticipation of moving to the next stage of my life, but I’m also feeling as though I’m moving away from family,” Dorsey said.
Marquise Hunt, 18, is heading to N.C. A&T State University in Greensboro to study software engineering.
Hunt said he is excited about starting the next phase of his life and the prospect of one day “making that money” as a software engineer.
“It’s been a long journey, but I’m prepared for what life has in store for me,” Hunt said.