MATHEWS — With a variety of paths that lay before them, the Class of 2016 should feel excitement at the opportunity to reinvent themselves, Mathews High School Valedictorian Maria Spadaccini said.
"We finally have the chance to take on the world and discover and pursue our true passions," Spadaccini said. "The past four years went by faster than I could ever imagine. ... I don't know about the rest of you but as I put on my cap, I could see the great perhaps, which remains a symbol of endless possibility and fulfilled dreams. I sincerely hope the rest of you do the same. I wish the very, very, very best for all of you."
Speaking at Saturday's graduation ceremony in the Mathews High School auditorium Spadaccini and Salutatorian Stacey Abernathy both expressed gratitude to those who helped each student reach this milestone.
Abernathy said upon entering high school members of the class were told they would be given so much more freedom.
"However, I believe as we go out into the world, whether it be to college or into the workforce, we will be given so much more freedom than we ever experienced at Mathews High School, so much so it may even be considered scary," she said. "It's important to take from Mathews High School all these lessons we have learned. For example, don't judge anyone before you get to know them. ... Another lesson I have learned is, getting lost can be an adventure. ... Getting lost allows us to venture outside our comfort zone."
During the ceremony, class President Brian Owens presented the school with a monetary gift to update the cafeteria, and more than $600,000 in scholarships were awarded.
Hubbard can be reached by phone at 757-298-5834.
Total enrollment: 404
Class of 2016: 104
Student Speakers: Valedictorian Maria Shea Spadaccini and Salutatorian Stacey Fiona Abernathy