With a sea of white and green caps and gowns before her, Bruton High School Valedictorian Kaela Frazier kept her message pretty short and consistent.
"We didn't choose the Bruton life, the Bruton life choose us," Frazier said to a couple of laughs and chuckles from classmates and the audience.
But it's the Bruton life, Frazier emphasized, that has helped prepare her and her classmates for the years to come.
"After following step-by-step directions for 12 years, we have the power to lead our own lives," Frazier said. "Today our focus is to take what we have learned from our successes and our failures these past 12 years and follow our dreams."
Bruton High School released 124 of its panthers Friday afternoon during its commencement services at William & Mary Hall at the College of William & Mary. In all, the Bruton class of 2015 secured nearly $3 million in scholarship money to various colleges, universities, and military academies and institutions across the country.
Frazier told her classmates to excel in all realms of their lives, and challenged each of her classmates to be the positive change in the world.
Bruton High School Principal Alexis Swanson furthered emphasized the Frazier's point, adding that no barriers, regardless of race, sex, gender or color, is stopping the class of 2015 from success.
"Whatever you put your hand to do, make sure you do it in the spirit of excellence," Swanson said.
O'Neal can be reached by phone at 757-247-4744.
Bruton H.S. Info
Total enrollment: 578
Class of 2015: 124
Student Speakers: Valedictorian Kaela Frazier; Salutatorian David Woolson; Class President J'ontae Smith; Class Vice President Da'Naijah Taylor; Class Secretary Sydney Wojcieszak
Source: York County Schools Division