On Saturday, May 31, I had the privilege of attending the inaugural high school graduation ceremony for the Georgia Cyber Academy (GCA). It was one of many graduation ceremonies of K12 partner schools taking place all across the country.
More than 2500 people packed the large space at the Gwinnett Center in Duluth, GA for the ceremony. The 300 or so graduates congregated in a side room, out of view from the main space, to don their caps and gowns. Peach could have made for a disastrous school color when the gowns were chosen, but thank goodness the GCA team had the good sense to go with navy gowns with a modest peach trim!
When it was time for the ceremony to start, Pomp and Circumstance began to play, and the GCA administrators, teachers, and board members, along with a few special guests (of which I was honored to be included) processed onto the stage. As we walked past row after row of proud parents, family members, and friends, some of who had driven long distances to be there, I felt both the weight and the joy of the occasion. The graduates followed behind us, grinning from ear to ear as they made eye contact with their loved ones, and took their seats at the front of the room.
The ceremony program highlighted several outstanding graduates, including Grace Brosofsky, GCA Valedictorian, who will be attending the Georgia Institute of Technology as a Presidential Scholar this fall, and Eddie Sunder, Salutatorian, who will travel to Peru this fall to spend five months volunteering with Missions to the World before entering Georgia Tech in the fall of 2015. Landi Abercrombie was honored with the Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and two GCA graduates, Rachel Warden and Victoria Price, were honored for earning their Associate Degrees from from Middle Georgia State College through the dual enrollment program at GCA. Graduates from GCA were accepted into many outstanding colleges, including Cornell University, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Georgia, Mercer University, and many others.