Seniors to take achievements to new level

The rewards of achievement are truly amazing, and some of the following folks you will read about probably started their rise to fame in Lewisville's pre-kindergarten.

Then they moved on to another level, and new words began to work their way into a process that would eventually make two of those students valedictorian and salutatorian. They learned about numbers, and they met Dick and Jane

However, we must acknowledge the "late bloomers." Ah, they are truly the ones that are so much fun to know and to write about. These remarkable people have been categorized in a certain class, one being the "day the light went on" or when "it all came together."

They, those late-blooming people, sat in class looking out the window and dreaming about their dog or skateboard, and then, one day, an inspired teacher spoke a magic phrase or word that sparked an interest and awakened that wandering little mind, and, of course, the rest is history.

All of the young achievers came together on May 21 when the sun shone on the awards ceremony at Lewisville High School.

Teachers and parents beamed as their children took their place in the school history book. Parents smiled and applauded. They no longer looked back on the agony of parenting -- the endless driving, the discussions about clothes and diet.

No, indeed, it was a clean slate for these children who became adults right at that moment. They were simply achievers, winners, those who excelled, graduates and the apples of their parents' eyes.

Each young person who had earned a note of recognition walked to the stage and was applauded by the audience. There was a 12-year academic history behind every one of those graduates. They had faced social and intellectual crises and weathered the storms.

Folks realized that these kids who cried on the first day of pre-kindergarten were now ready to enter what we love to call "the real world." They silently prayed that world would do right by them.

Robin Winchester was born at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte 18 years ago. She came to Richburg and has lived here all of her life. She has been a student at Lewisville schools from the day her education started. She has, from the very beginning, excelled.

She was born with an understanding that all of us can be winners if we only take the time to study, work and persevere. It has been her mantra, and she spoke of that ability in her valedictorian address.

It is very clear when one speaks with Robin that she has a great appreciation for learning, along with an insatiable curiosity. That is the emotion that makes us turn to the next page.

She has excelled because of dedication and self-discipline. School has been the most important thing in her life, and her grades prove that point. She finished with an average that is in the clouds to many of us. When asked, she said, "Oh, gee, it was 4.5 something."

She will go on to Clemson, where she will embark on the difficult road of bio-engineering, not a crowded field in today's world. There is no doubt Robin will find it exciting.

Possibly, her own health has led her to this decision. She has carried the weight of juvenile diabetes since she was 10 years old. Along with all of her other accomplishments, she has been responsible for all of her testing and insulin management. Not a small task for a little girl. But then Robin has to know about things; that is why she stood on that stage and accepted the kudos from the people of Richburg and Lewisville. She quite simply achieved and will continue to do so.

Will Lazenby, in his salutatorian address, talked about the school and the place where he has lived all his life. He said the Lewisville schools were a place where he felt safe and accepted. He graciously thanked all of the residents for the support they had offered. He was proud of the town's history and its never-ending desire to do it right.

He thanked teachers, peers and the community for their constant interest and goodwill and added, the gift from our school and the local folks is one that will never be forgotten. Then he said goodbye.

It was a day of great importance to every student in that graduating class. It honored many of them, and they will go on to honor the school that has made their educational life so rich.

Little do they know now how valuable these years will be. All of the things that were so unimportant then will become jewels in their memory banks. They are all to be congratulated.