Internal compass to guide BR grads on road of life

Blue Ridge Class of 2012 takes the stage at graduation exercises held Saturday, June 16, in the school auditorium. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON


Within all of us is an internal compass, a naturalGPSsystem that guides us in the correct direction on the road of life.

That was the messageBlue Ridgegraduates were given by guest speaker and Spanish teacher Lucretia Jesse during graduation exercises held Saturday in the high school auditorium.

Jesse spoke to the Blue Ridge Class of 2012

Class of 2012 President Ashley Warren presents the senior mantle to the Class of 2013 president, Sam Brush. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

about meeting challenges that will face them as they move into the adult world.

“Peer pressure doesn’t ever really go away,” Jesse said.

But she said “Your compass speaks to you to tell you which way to turn. Don’t mute that voice. You may not always like what it tells you to do, but the voice will keep you on route.”

Jesse warned, “There will be bumps on the road and potholes, and every now and then you might a tire.”

She told the graduates to surround themselves with people with experience.

“Use the people in your lives to guide you on the road to your own personal success,” Jesse said.

The graduates may not have their roadmap of life all planned out.

Even Salutatorian Mitchell Wages said he doesn’t.

Blue Ridge Salutatorian Mitchell Wages rifles through his “box of speeches” looking for his commencement day address bypassing his ready-made speeches for accepting the Noble Prize, Presidential nomination; and class valedictorian. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

“I’m 18, I barely know what I’m doing tomorrow,” he said in his address.

Wages said he didn’t have plans but he did have goals, which include becoming a professor of astrophysics inAustralia.

To his classmates, Wages said, “I’m proud of you. Not for the things you have done, but for the things you will do in the future.”

Valedictorian Rebekka DeJesse admitted her discomfort in making a commencement day speech.

Reflecting on her high school experience, DeJesse said it was not always enjoyable but it “did make the Rebekka that I am today – one that wants to be a doctor.”

She also passed along her hope of future success to her fellow graduates. “If I can make a speech, in front of all these people, all of you can certainly achieve the impossible,” DeJesse said.

Blue Ridge Class of 2012: Warren D. Armondi, Courtney Joy Arsenault, Bethany Ruth Austin, Kristen Danielle Brown, Dustin J. Burdick, Brandon Michael Buzard, Rachel Marie Casella, Dalton

The Blue Ridge Class of 2012 celebrates graduation with a toss of their mortarboards high into the air. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

Daniel Church, Alexander Jozef Coolidge-Cardoza, Katie N. Cramer, Calum J. Culkin, Margaret Jane Darrow, Shawn J. Darrow, Amanda Rose Dauro, Rebekka R. DeJesse, Dakota Michael Dixon, Shamika Andrea Dommes, Michael P. Dorunda, Annie Marie Dunn, David Michael Entrot, Cassandra Jane Fassett, Michael Joseph Ferra, Robert W. Fleming, Devin R. Fowler, Kyle D. Frailey, Tyler John Freeman, Jacquelyn Leigh Furch, Dakota James Gajewski, Tamaaiga Fonoti Galu-Edgar, Alex Brent  Glover, Dominique Leigh Gulick, Jared Christopher Hawk, Scott T. Heeman, Emmalee Snow Huston, Kellie May Jesse, Christopher Mark Johnson, Mia Lynn Johnson, Cyerah Victoria Jones, Danika Ruth

REBEKKA DeJESSE Valedictorian


Lawson, Joseph Jay Luce, Ethan Luke Mansfield, Kevin Paul McCarey, David Steven Miller, Collin James Morris, Shannon Ashley O’Neill, Daniel James Osborn, Kyle Lynn Pedro, Samuel A. Phillips, Gage Gregory Piechocki, Brittany Marie Price, Jesse Daniel Pruitt, Kailey Christine Ragard, Kelsey M. Ralston, Amanda Marie Reese, Michael R. Robbs, Jacob Brant Roberts, Joshua J. Rodriquez, Lawrence N. Rudock, Faith        Elizabeth Rychlewski, Nicholas Ryan Schell, Levi Fredrick Schmidt, Cullen M. Shaw, Amber Elizabeth Shibley, Cody D. Smith, Sean M. Stanley, Stephen John Starks, Brittney Cheyenne Thomas, Megan Marie VanGorden, Mitchell J.M. Wages, Wesley D. Ward, Ashley René Warren, Caleb J. Watts, William C. Weber, Michael J. Welsch Jr., Nicole Grace Whitney, Hannah Elizabeth Young.