By Madelynn Keller

Photos by Brooklyn Lakey and Mike Poller

As of June 11, the Senior Class of 2022 has officially graduated from Davie County Schools and is now embarking on the next chapter in their stories. 

The graduation ceremony commenced at 8:30 am on the football field of Davie High; with the sky a bright blue, the mood was set for what would be one of the most memorable milestones in these graduates’ lives. 

The Graduation Ceremony for the Class of 2022 is just about to begin, with everyone attempting to get in place. | Photo by Brooklyn Lakey

To mark the beginning of the ceremony, an introduction speech by the Student Body President Madeleine “Maddie” Kulis was made. Kulis, a proud incoming freshman, and cheerleader for Clemson University, gave a beautiful speech that acknowledged the COVID-19 pandemic and the effect it had presented to the Class of 2022. The short yet sweet speech ended with a thank you to the parents, staff, and teachers who had assisted in making June 11, 2022, possible. 

Kulis’ speech was then followed by an invocation delivered by Senior Class President and Editor in Chief for The Weekly Talon, Rachel Quance.  Quance’s invocation took the form of a  two and a half minute prayer emphasizing grace concluding with the Lord’s Prayer. 

Graduation ceremonies at Davie High School have often included a recording of a performance from members of the school’s chorus. This year’s ceremony, however, featured a live performance from a choir filled with both graduates and members of the junior and sophomore classes of OneRepublic’s “I Lived,” a song commonly heard at graduations across the nation. 

As the choir sat down, Whitney DeLoach, the DCHS Class of 2022’s Academic Speaker, stood up. DeLoach, a member of the girl’s tennis team, a co-president of the National Honors Society, and an incoming UNC Chapel Hill freshman, had much to say, quoting Plato and Amanda Gorman. Her speech spoke of many subjects commonly found in graduation speeches, such as the future, excellence, success, and competition, while adding personal touches like the fact that her TI-84 calculator is hot pink and that her #1 supporter is her mom. 

As DeLoach’s speech ended, the final student speaker of the day, Laura Ashley Tatem, spoke. Known as Ashley to her peers, the DCHS War Eagle Speaker finished strong as she spoke of memories both dear to her and dear to the hearts of those graduating with her. Then just as DeLoach had done, Tatem spoke of success, and what it meant to truly be successful in both the eyes of ourselves and the eyes of those around us. Ashley’s speech marked the end of what were four hard, yet remarkable, years for herself and the three other student speakers. 

DCHS War Eagle Speaker, Ashley Tatem, gives the final student-made speech at the Graduation for the Class of 2022. | Photo by Brooklyn Lakey

As the speech was followed by the clapping and cheering of those in the audience, the Davie County High School Principal, Michael Pruitt, took over the podium. His words were some of wisdom that he gave the Graduating Seniors of 2022, attesting to the resilience born from the struggles of attending school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Roughly 390 diplomas were handed out at graduation on Saturday, some to those who have lived in Davie County their entire lives and some to those who have just recently joined the Davie High Family. We at The Weekly Talon had two of our founding members graduate on Saturday: Rachel Quance, our Editor in Chief, and Aria Tronsen, our Chief Technology Officer. Quance was an integral part of designing and running our website during the club’s first two years before quickly moving into her position as Editor in Chief. In the fall, she plans to attend North Carolina State University majoring in Business Administration and minoring in Spanish. Quance was also a member of the National Honors Society, the Davie Respect Initiative, Surf Board, and Student Council.

Senior Class President Rachel Quance and Academic Speaker Whitney DeLoach smile wide after the graduation ceremony has ended. | Photo by Mike Poller

At the start of The Weekly Talon, Aria Tronsen found her niche in social media, photography, and graphic design before officially becoming the Head of the Photography and Videography Department as a junior and the Chief Technology Officer as a Senior. In the fall, Tronsen plans to attend Appalachian State University and has been accepted into Appalachian’s School of Music. She plans to major in Instrumental Music Education, keeping to her roots as a key member and leader in the Davie High Marching Band. Tronsen was also an active member of the National Honors Society, Tri-M Music Honors Society, and was a STEM Ambassador her Sophomore and Junior year. Both Tronsen and Quance graduated with a STEM distinction. 

To the Graduating Class of 2022: We wish you the very best as you explore your newfound freedom and plan to take the next steps in your lives, whether it be in furthering your education or beginning your careers. We are sad to bid you farewell but are excited to see what you will accomplish as we know it will be great.

Congratulations and, as always, DCAW forever!