Edgecombe Early College High School graduates, from left, Ashley Abrams, Amber Bass, Erick Contreras, Caleb Braxton, Jacob Clark, Whitney Dickens, Quatavius Downing, Christian Lamm, Lauralee Leary, Kayla Miranda, Brittany Moore, Courtney Moore, Timiya Murphy, Noja Pitt, Patrick Sharpe, Kaitlyn Smith, Carmen Spruill and Amber Stallings participage in commencement exercises May 22 at Edgecombe Community CollegeХs Keihin Auditorium.

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Edgecombe Early College High School graduates, from left, Ashley Abrams, Amber Bass, Erick Contreras, Caleb Braxton, Jacob Clark, Whitney Dickens, Quatavius Downing, Christian Lamm, Lauralee Leary, Kayla Miranda, Brittany Moore, Courtney Moore, Timiya Murphy, Noja Pitt, Patrick Sharpe, Kaitlyn Smith, Carmen Spruill and Amber Stallings participage in commencement exercises May 22 at Edgecombe Community CollegeХs Keihin Auditorium.

Seniors graduate from Edgecombe Early College High School

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Twenty-one students from the Edgecombe Early College High School recently turned their tassels from the right side of their graduation caps to the left side as a symbol of having transitioned from candidate to graduate.

The students received their high school diplomas and degrees May 22 at the commencement exercises at Edgecombe Community College’s Keihin Auditorium.

“Being in high school for five years may seem like a deal breaker for many,” said Kaitlyn Smith, one of the graduates. “But for us we decided to go along for the ride. The past 14 years have prepared us for this moment.”

Early College High School Principal Dr. Katrenna Rich said students receive either an Associate in Arts degree or an Associate in Science degree upon graduation. “They can also have the following recognition on their transcripts: College Readiness, On the Right Track, College Success and College Milestone,” she said.

Valedictorian Brittany Moore shared her excitement for the accomplishments of her peers.

“We, as the Class of 2014, have given ourselves to success within Edgecombe Early College High School and it reflects that effort. We’ve created a reputation for ourselves and our school. This is something to be carried with each of us for years to come and, above all, it is something to be proud of,” Moore said. “As a whole, this Graduating Class of 2014 has accomplished many things and now, as individuals, it is time to leave our marks in other places and that is exactly what we aim to do.”

Superintendent John Farrelly offered words of wisdom to the graduating class.

“In ever-changing lives, you need to hold on to your unchanging principles,” Farrelly said. “As Stephen Covey has offered, there are three constants in life: change, choice and principles. As you move forward, take on change with courage, use your power to make the right choices, and stick to your principles. You undoubtedly will be successful,” he said.

Rich’s speech focused on the school’s mascot: the Turtle.

“Turtles are adaptable because they are slowly moving on land but when put in the water, they are agile,” Rich said. “Like the turtle, I encourage you, graduates, in this next phase of your lives to take a break from the business from time to time, poke your head out, look around and check out the scene. Know that you are covered by your shell of protection because you have been equipped to succeed.”

Part of the ceremony included a spotlight video of the Class of 2014 which featured pictures of the graduates, demonstrating the students’ growth from toddlers to high school seniors. Scholarship presentations to the graduates were also a highlight of the evening. Students received scholarships in amount of $97,950.