Sun shines on FCHS graduation

Class of 2024

By Heather Michon

Despite a cloudy start to the day, the sun decided to shine down on Fluvanna County High School’s Class of 2024.

With the FCHS Band playing the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance,” it took nearly half an hour for all 300 graduating seniors to make their way to their assigned seats on the football field as families and loved ones looked on from the stands.

“Graduating is not something you can do on your own,” said Student Government Association president Jamie Rodriguez. “You need a strong support system, full of people you can lean on.”

As “a final act of diplomacy,” she ordered each senior to find those who had supported them along the way. “They got you here, and you need to let them know.”

“Imagine you are like a tree, deeply rooted in knowledge and experiences from your time here,” said FCHS Principal Margo Bruce. “Each challenge you’ve made has helped them grow stronger. Now it’s time to reach for the sky and let your branches expand.”

Senior Class President Isaiah Bradley introduced Salutatorian Sarah Beth Robinson and Valedictorian Zach Butler.

In their addresses, Robinson and Butler both thanked the many friends and family for their love and support. 

“Everything we have accomplished at Fluvanna County High School is only a fraction of all the amazing things we will do throughout our lives,” said Robinson. “As we move beyond FCHS, my hope is that we keep the people who made us who we are in this moment close–but I hope that we also seek new relationships with people who make us better, stronger, happier versions of ourselves.”

Butler said his parents always told him “that life is the sum of our choices….it’s as simple and complex as that.”

In the end, he said, “please remember that the choices you make, make you. Let’s write the next chapter with passion, life with purpose, and never forget that the future is ours to shape.”

In his concluding remarks, Superintendent Peter Gretz recognized the recipients of three annual awards: Student of the Year Jacob Cook, Staff Member of the Year Haden Parrish, and Community Member of the Year Mozell Booker.

With seniors now embarking on their separate journeys, he asked three groups to stand for individual rounds of applause. Some students were headed for the military, others directly into the workforce. The largest group was heading to two—and four-year colleges and universities. 

The Class of 2024 was awarded a total of $1.425 million in scholarships, close to double the amount accumulated in 2023.

Dr. Gretz wished them all good fortunes in their future endeavors, but also let them know they didn’t have to go it alone.

“Please know we are here for you. We are for you,” he said. “And we will always be here if you need us and when you want us.”

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