Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

May 31, 2014

Tazewell County graduates move forward to next step

BLUEFIELD, Va. — Hundreds of high school seniors across Tazewell County put on traditional caps and gowns Friday evening and accepted the diplomas they earned after four years at their schools.

Graham High School, Tazewell High School and Richlands High School each hosted a graduation ceremony at 7 p.m. The tune “Pomp and Circumstance” was heard across Southwest Virginia as parents, grandparents, brothers, sisters, other loved ones and friends watched as the graduates marched into the ceremonies to take the next big step in their lives.

At Tazewell High School, 132 graduates of the Class of 2014 were presented their diplomas at Bulldog Stadium/Witten Field outside of the high school. The valedictorian was Sarah McGraw and the salutatorian was Spencer Gee.

“As we graduate today, you are saying your first goodbye to prepare for a future of hellos,” McGraw said. “Graduation is the end of something amazing, but is also the beginning of our bright futures.”

“This time, as seniors, we are saying ‘hello’ to something new — our future,” Gee said. “Our class is ready to help make the world the best it can possibly be.”

Near Bluefield, Va., the 127 graduates of the Graham High School Class of 2014 assembled at the gymnasium of neighboring Graham Middle School to receive their diplomas. The graduates sharing the honor of valedictorian were Misbah Muzaffer and Rehan Razzaq. The salutatorian was Sana Sekkarie.

“I want to let this group know how proud I am about their accomplishments,” Principal John O’Neal said before Friday’s ceremony. “This is a very competitive class, a very well-rounded class. They didn’t just come to school. They participated and made things happen. They wanted to do more than get a high school education. They wanted to be part of the school, and they did that very successfully.”

In another part of the county, the Richlands High School Class of 2014 graduation ceremony was conducted at the Richlands Middle School gym. Family and friends gathered to watch 143 graduates receive their diplomas.

The valedictorian was Gabrielle Lilly June Viers, and the salutatorian was Bethany Ann Mullins. The class colors were navy, white and silver. The class flower was a blue rose tipped with silver, and the class song was “I Go Back” by Kenny Chesney. School officials were unavailable Friday.

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