After a more than a two-month delay due to shelter-in-place and social-distance restrictions, South Cobb High School finally was able to hold a commencement ceremony for the Class of 2020 on July 18. Hundreds of graduates joined a single-file processional onto the field at McEachern’s Cantrell Stadium for the long-awaited event.
After Lamani Jewell sang a spirited rendition of the national anthem, Principal T. J. Perry reminded the graduating Eagles of something he told them often throughout the school year—to SOAR.
“The S in SOAR,” he told them, “stands for ‘Stand Tall,’ to be resilient in the face of adversity; O is for ‘Open Your Mind,’ you should always try new things; A is ‘Affect,’ meaning to make a difference; and R is for ‘Remember Your Why,’ because you should be mindful of why you do the things you do.”
“Now SOAR with pride,” he concluded to applause and cheers.
Revealing that Principal Perry’s message did not go unheeded all year, Valedictorian Adebukola Fetuga celebrated her peers and their accomplishments. “The Class of 2020 has never failed to put on a proud display of unity and strength in the face of adversity,” she said to her classmates. “This is what makes us powerful.”
“We came, we saw, and we conquered,” she continued enthusiastically. “Now we must all move on to change our communities for the better.”
A particularly moving moment during the diploma presentations was when Ka’mani’ Kirkland’s diploma was presented to her parents. Ka’mani’ was killed in a tragic accident in late May, and her classmates responded to her parents’ presence on the stage with cheers of support and much love.
Congratulations to South Cobb’s Class of 2020. It’s now time for you to SOAR…