Seaford High graduates given advice on how to succeed in life

By Lynn Schofer

The Seaford High School Commencement for the class of 2016 had a theme of "One Person Can Change the World", which resonated among the 102 graduating seniors. Principal Terry Carson said, "Every day I am amazed by these students and all of their accomplishments." Carson introduced distinguished guests and welcomed family, and friends.

Senior class advisor Sheryl Glocker told the class with a quote of Dr. Seuss, "Follow your heart, be true to yourself, and become the best person of you that you can be."

Among the graduates are 12 National Honor Society members and nine Honor Key members. The Presidential Excellence Award was awarded to 35 class members and 29 graduates with the International Baccalaureate Certificate. The Delaware New Tech Academy graduates 51 participants. The class graduates three members of the Business Professionals of America; two Family, Career & Community Leadership member; four Future Farmers of America Senior Leadership members; two Health Occupation Students of America; 13 Jobs for Delaware, and two Technology students. Salutatorian Brock Willey and Valedictorian Matthew King are Diploma Candidates of the international Baccalaureate Programme.

School Board member Dr. Michael Smith told the class, "Make good choices, always be a good friend, and go home tonight and thank the person that put you in that seat." Seaford Superintendent David Perrington said he has interviewed hundreds of people and provided advice to the class, "whatever you chose, you must be able to convince people that you are the best choice." Perrington shared that he believes in the art of conversation, "Listen to others, the most powerful way to connect to another person is to listen. Learn to work together, never stop learning, have a sense of humor, dream big, and perseverance turns failure into success."

Two honored speakers shared with the class their guidance and experiences. Joyce Sessoms M Ed, Executive Director of Ark Education Resource Center told the class of Ten Rules for Living on Purpose. Sessoms turned and faced the class in saying, "You make a living by what you get, you make a life by what you give." Sessoms further encouraged others, "For those of you who were supposed to walk across the stage but never did, do not be discouraged and never give up." Sessoms shared that she is a member of the graduating team of James H. Grove Adult High School and currently a Doctoral candidate at Wilmington University.

The second honored guest, Senator Tom Carper, gave the class his own list for success and said, "In the handshake is the first impression. We have one opportunity to make that good impression and look them in the eye."

Senator Carper told the audience, "Seaford has a great past and a new great future; Seaford is a town on the rise." Carper served three tours of duty in the Vietnam War and a total of 23 years in the military before retiring in 1991. The senator said his father told him he had to figure out a way to pay for college so he went to school on a Naval scholarship and provided the class important insight, "Take a shot in life and follow four rules of success; do what's right; treat other people that way I want to be treated; do my best; and never give up."

Principal Terry Carson introduced and congratulated Willey who graduates with an overall GPA of 100.82 and will attend the Delaware College for Art and Design. King, who graduates with an overall GPA of 103.88, thanked God, his family, teachers, coaches, administrators and anyone who contributes to making Seaford High a great school. King spoke from the heart, "It is an honor to speak on behalf of the graduating class of 2016."

The positive changes that King experienced as a student were shared, "Students at Seaford High School are achieving a higher level of success, more people are participating in sports and giving their best efforts, more people are making a difference in our school, and positive attitudes have been a big part of the change and one of the reasons I am extremely proud to be part of the graduating class of 2016."

The valedictorian encouraged his classmates, "I know some of you want to leave Delaware and live an adventurous life somewhere else, but when you are done, come back to Seaford and visit SHS and support and help our community. Be a part of something great," King said. "It is important to support the school and community that have given you so much." In closing, King told his classmates, "Surround yourself with good people, help others, be a positive role model." Matthew will go on to the University of Delaware where he will study Biological Science in the pre pharmacy program.

Principal Carson reminded the class of the five standards and provided each graduate with a small card as a gift inscribed with the standards, "Be attractive, not distractive; Be in class or have a pass; Participate so you will graduate; Smart tech use not abuse; and Blue Jay Pride far and wide." Carson told the class, "This is the moment you have been moving toward since your first day of kindergarten."

The class of 2016 Officers are Brock Willey, president; Samantha Brown, Vice-president; Deonise Mondestin, secretary; Jacob Prettyman, Treasurer; Kiara Kilgo, Historian; Matthew King, Member-At-Large.

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