Fifty seniors graduated Friday during commencement exercises at Tar River Academy.

Contributed photo

Fifty seniors graduated Friday during commencement exercises at Tar River Academy.

Tar River High School seniors graduate

From Contributed Reports

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Fifty Tar River High School students marked the end of their high school careers Friday during their graduation ceremony.

Principal Brian Hopkins noted how good his students looked decorated in their royal blue and white caps and gowns.

“The relationships will be missed but not forgotten. We feel confident that you are prepared for your future,” he said. “Make good choices and half the battle is won.”

Hopkins recognized Ahtiona Deshae Taybron as the valedictorian for the Class of 2014.

Graduating senior Sarraesheell Thomas reflected on the experiences of the Class of 2014.

“Classmates, don’t ever give up on yourself. I had challenges living in a group home but I never gave up. Now I will be attending Mt. Olive University in the fall. This is our year and we deserve to shine,” Thomas said.

“She has soared and I am so proud of Sarraesheell,” said Debra Battle, assistant principal of Tar River Academy.

Parents, educators, school board members and administrators were on hand to applaud the graduates as they received their diplomas.This marked the third commencement for Tar River Academy, since being established to provide students in a non-traditional high school setting with an opportunity to thrive in a smaller environment as they worked to complete their credits. The graduates chanted “2014” as the exited the auditorium.

Superintendent Dr. Anthony Jackson said he always enjoys sharing in the graduates’ special moment.

“As a system, we congratulate the graduating Class of 2014. We are confident that they possess the necessary tools and are equipped to compete globally in their next areas of pursuit. We wish them well as they start their next journey,” Jackson said.