• 48°

‘You’ve done it’

For Kings Fork High School receptionist Orga Boone, Saturday’s graduation ceremony was an emotional event.

She smiled as if she were the mother of a graduate herself as she greeted, hugged or shook hands with nearly each of the more than 300 graduates as they left the school’s auditorium.

“I know just about every single one of them. This is a special day for me because they are stepping out to the next part of their lives,” said Boone.

Boone was just one of the thousands of family members and friends to crowd into each of the city’s three public high schools Saturday, as Kings Fork, Lakeland and Nansemond River high schools held commencement ceremonies.

“I have to congratulate you, your teachers, your parents and your supporters,” outgoing Suffolk Public Schools superintendent Dr. Milton Liverman said during his remarks at each of the three schools. “What I challenge each of you now is to make sure you live a life that matters.

“What will matter is not what you bought, but what you built … what will matter is not what you learned, but what you taught … what will matter is not what you remember, but how long you will be remembered, by whom, and for what,” Liverman added.

In each event, the schools’ valedictorian and salutatorian shared their thoughts and memories of their high school careers and offered advice to their fellow graduates.

“While I hope that the old friendships will continue, I also anticipate that new friends will be made, new interests discovered, and new plans formulated or old plans revisited,” Nansemond River valedictorian Anna Cain said. “You cannot control what others do, only what you do.”

Even those teachers responsible for the education of these seniors took a moment to reflect on the day’s events.

“I graduated from here,” said Lakeland English teacher and alumna Paula Wagner. “It’s neat to see the younger generation so excited about going out. It’s special to see them succeed.”

In wrapping up his remarks at each of the events, Liverman aimed to sum up the graduates’ accomplishments.

“You’ve done it,” said Superintendent Milton Liverman. “This is the day you been waiting for. Job well done.”