Seahawks Urged To Be Creators

Seahawks Urged To Be Creators

South Lakes graduates 576 at Patriot Center.

On Wednesday, June 18, 576 students graduated from South Lakes High School in the Patriot Center.

On Wednesday, June 18, 576 students graduated from South Lakes High School in the Patriot Center. Photo by Reena Singh.

Antonia Nagle urged her classmates - all 575 of them - to go out and be creators.

As one of the senior student speakers at South Lakes High School’s graduation June 18 at George Mason University’s Patriot Center, she talked about how creativity gained in school will go on to shape their world through college and the workforce.

“Here at South Lakes, anyone who has ever contributed even a single idea has been a creator,” she said.

Nagle, who was named Miss Soaring Seahawk this year, said creating is not confined to artists and writers. She said the students in the school, budding scientists, lawyers and engineers, among other professions, can all be creators in their field.


Students walk to their seats during South Lakes High School’s graduation June 18 in the Patriot Center.

“From today onward, I urge you to continue creating,” she said. “Craft your own opinions. Always look inside yourself and ask questions for answers we haven’t found yet. Search out people who can learn from you and search out people who will inspire you to keep creating.”

Senior Melissa Thomas, another student speaker, talked about the community South Lakes High has become for many of the students who were preparing to graduate. She reminisced back to the days when the students were overwhelmed and confused freshmen.

“Everyone was so different from one another, but one thing remained constant,” she said. “Everyone had a smile.”

She was struck that people cared for their classmates - by holding the door open and stealing doughnuts to share with friends.

“You see, South Lakes isn’t just a school,” she said. “It’s a community and a family, and that is something that makes us unique.”

When a student was diagnosed with cancer, Thomas proudly said the school banded together to raise $2,000 for the cause and to pay for treatment.

“The time has come to take out lives into our own hands, to be the change we wish to see in the world,” said Thomas.

Both honor graduates and those who are committing themselves to military service were honored at the ceremony by allowing students to stand for a thunderous applause.

Assistant Principal Dana Walker said his goal to prepare students for the world beyond the walls of SLHS were successful. He said the students who are the first in their family to graduate should be celebrated just as the students who graduated with honors were.

“Among this class, there are students who are the first to graduate in their family from high school, the first to attend college,” he said. “That is worth celebrating.”

Walker said some students may have made poor choices or gotten bad grades but in the end, buckled down and got the grades they needed to get their diplomas that day. Even though no student is perfect, he recognized another trait he saw in the class of 2014.

“You’re some of the most selfless students I’ve ever worked with,” he said. “You embraced what it is to help others in need no matter what the circumstances are. You support one another through hard situations and learn how to respond effectively when things did not go as planned.”