King William grads highlight successes, impact of time together

Staff writer

All you need to see to know that King William High School’s graduating class of 2019 is different from years past is the change of venue — the class of 2019, all 166 of them, along with their families, have at last outgrown the King William High School gymnasium, requiring ceremonies to be held at the Meadow Event Park.

As Principal Corey McConville said during his opening remarks, growth like this is “a good problem for a school to have.”

Members of the Class of 2019 have earned $1,512,681 in scholarship money, a dozen students have enlisted in the military, and a dozen others walked across the stage to collect associate’s degrees from Rappahannock Community College alongside their high school diplomas.

The commencement speaker was Rodney Robinson, a Richmond Public Schools teacher who was recently named the National Teacher of the Year. A graduate of King William High School’s Class of 1996, Robinson proudly talked about his roots as an "old school” King William graduate, and the impact growing up there had on him.

“I was in the same position as all of you 23 years ago, so I know how you’re feeling right now,” Robinson said. “Some of you are happy, some of you are sad, and some of you are hoping I stop talking so you can get out of here to go celebrate. But if there’s one thing I want you to take away from this, it’s that life comes at you fast.”

Robinson said that life is like boiling water, and in reacting to that heat and pressure, some collapse while others thrive.

“Some people are like potatoes, where that pressure breaks them down, and others are like eggs, where feeling that heat just makes them hard,” Robinson said. “I hope all of you react to life the way the coffee bean reacts to that water, not only surviving but improving the water, adding energy and flavor to everything around it — I hope all of you take control of your life, don’t let life control you.”

In his speech to graduates', salutatorian Tyler Bailey joked about how life may not always go as planned, but that sometimes that’s for the best.

“Just look at me — I’m proof that if you work hard, study, burn the midnight oil, set goals and really dedicate yourself, that you too, can come in second place — which is the best lesson you could learn,” Bailey said. “Looking out at everyone here today, and everything which we achieved together, we all have reason to be proud of standing here today.”

Class valedictorian Logan Layne would say much of the same, pointing out how many of them had been in King William schools for years, had been changed for the better for it, and that they’ll always have the bond of the community they formed there.

“We have all come a long way since the beginning, and though we are all very different people, we all got here together, helped each other over the years, offered each other ideas and support,” Layne said. “To all of you: Be happy with whatever it is you do from here, and never forget, you always have us and what we did together at King William.”

King William High School Class of 2019

Kaitlyn Ambrose

Tyler Bailey

Colin Baldwin

Claire Ballos

McKenzie Beall

Dylan Belanger

Carlton Berkeley

Lydia Bickford

Jawaun Bishop-Randall

Trevor Blanchard

Seth Bliley

Nathan Bower

Sydney Bowler

Melody Brevard

Danielle Brown

Alexus Burrell

Nicholas Butler

Stephanie Buzaleski

Homer Campbell-Aguinaldo

Kayla Capps

Keyara Carter

Cameron Cary

Joseph Chenault

Joseph Clatterbuck

Virginia Clouse

Tiffani Coffman

Jasmine Conlan

Thomas Cooke

Holly Covel

Mary Cunliffe

Lili Custalow

Kayla Dalton

Nicolas Davenport

Cyrus Davis

Sarah Davis

Orion DeBres

Rebecca Downey

Candice Dungee

Cayla Durnal

Alexis Early

Carissa Ellis

Sherrod Fauntleroy

Mikayla Ferguson

Zaaron Foster

Lilly Fowlkes

Kelly Garrett

Ciara Gershowitz

Brandon Gilmer

Darius Green

Jacob Gresham

Alyssa Grinnan

Trevor Hall

Gerald Hamilton

Ethan Hampton

Zackary Harris

Taina Harris

Tara Hart

Alaina Hawkins

Amanda Helmick

Caroline Hendrick

Serena Herndon

Trevin Holmes-Gresham

Jamie Hooper

Eli Hopkins

Kristlin Hott

Savanna Howland

Haley Hudgins

Michael Humphrey

Tyler Jennings

Andrew Johnson

Cole Johnson

Eric Johnson

Kristina Johnson

Cullen Jones

Sky Jones

Austin Jordan

Kolbe Jorgenson

Charles Kahl

Bryson Kenney

Tyler Kersey

Andrew Kish

Brenna Knoeller

Jasmine Koontz

Eric Lamb

Logan Layne

Chad Longest

Emma Lutz

Christopher Maier

Austin McCray

Kirsten McDaniel

Megan McFarlane

Cole Meyers

Holly Miles

Jewel Mitchell

Luther Mitchell

Brandon Modlin

Carson Morrow

Damian Musante

George Muse

Cassidy O'Keeffe

Kimberli Outland

Karson Overstreet

Christopher Parkhurst Jr.

Jesse Payne

Michael Peatross

Kory Pierce

Kyle Pierce

Robert Porch

Iayana Porter

Shaun Price

Kyleigh Puckett

Taylor Pulliam

Harley Reece

Sabina Reed

Brittney Resnick

Tommy Riffe

Jacquelyn Robinson

Kiara Rodriguez-Rivas

Sidney Rudolph

Macy Ruppert

Safeerah Saleh

William Sams

Jesse Sanchez

Coral Sawdy

Macie Scruggs

Kaia Seashols

KateLynn Seay

Montana Shanks

Riley Shinault

Adam Shope

Travis Shumate

Brandon Silva

Jordan Simons

David Smith

George Smith

Landon Smith

Scott Spicer

Kylee Spurlock

Andrew Stampley

Emily Stephens

Skylar Stephens

Jackson Stewart

Mynor Stickley

Brok Talbott

Colby Talley

Blake Taylor

Peyton Taylor

KaDedra Temple

Jeremy Throckmorton

Evan Tupponce

Cheyenne Upshaw

Gianna Valdrighi

McCall VanRensselaer

Kaleyah Volk

Rosalina Volo

Nichole Waldrop

Savannah Wallace

Sincere Weeden

Lauren West

Baylee Wharton

Trinity Wheat

Hudson White

Trynitee White

John Wilhelm

Sophie Wilson

Rebecca Woolums

Sean CW Korsgaard can be reached at 757-968-1529, by email sean.korsgaard@vagazette.com, and on Twitter @SCWKorsgaard.

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