Forecasted rain held off Saturday as more than 500 graduates accepted their diplomas at Mooresville High School’s Coach Joe Popp Stadium under cloudy, then eventually sunny skies.
Applause, cheers, air horns and cow bells sounded through the stadium as Principal Eric Schwarzenegger handed each graduate, dressed in electric blue caps and gowns, their diploma.
Graduate Lilyan Bass, 19, shared an emotional moment embracing her father Thomas Bass after the ceremony.
“I’m happy, relieved, excited,” said Lilyan Bass, who plans to take a year off and then attend Mitchell Community College to study early childhood development. “I don’t have to stress as much anymore.”
Thomas Bell said he was proud of his daughter, his first child to graduate.
“It was a long road but a fast one,” said Thomas Bell.
CLASS LEADERS SHARE EXPERIENCES
The graduation ceremony included speeches from class leaders, including valedictorian Charlotte Allen who graduated with a weighted GPA of 4.67 and plans to attend Wake Forest University in the fall.
Allen thanked her mom Lisa Allen and her dad MHS teacher Nick Allen for always sharing his classroom snacks, helping her with school projects and encouraging her to re-write term papers. In her speech, Allen, the senior class student body president and a member of the varsity cheerleading and track teams, said she picked the word “home” to best describe Mooresville High on a school questionnaire. “I picked this word as a jab at my dad knowing I spent way too much time here waiting on him after school,” Allen joked.
But, home was the best word to describe the place she had spent so much time and where she had so many positive experiences, she said. She wondered how time went by so quickly.
“You never know the true value of a moment until it becomes a memory,” Allen said, quoting author Dr. Seuss. Allen said she could easily see how MHS became a home to her. “No matter what you think of your time here at school, I’m sure we can all agree that we’ve spent enough time here to call it something other than a school,” Allen told the crowd.
The graduating seniors all share high school memories they will carry with them into the future, she said. “We should all know we’re going to be leaving with another home forever,” Allen said.
Class salutatorian Bailey Mauney, daughter of Lisa Mauney and Mooresville Graded School District Superintendent Stephen Mauney, graduated with a weighted GPA of 4.64 and will attend Liberty University in the fall.
In her speech, Mauney said change can be intimidating but the Class of 2019 has embraced change, beginning with the school campus construction that lasted many years, and changes in school leadership. The class’s achievements are proven in a record-breaking $4.5 million in scholarship money awarded and as the largest class to graduate to date, Mauney said.
Throughout life, each person you meet challenges you positively or negatively, she said. Mauney challenged her classmates to stand out, work hard for others and make the world a better place.
“I challenge you to make good friends but more importantly, I challenge you to be a good friend,” Mauney said.