CUMMING — On the last day of the school year, there’s really just one thing on the minds of the more than 2,000 Forsyth County high school seniors — graduation.
The first of the school district’s commencement ceremonies is set for Saturday morning, when Forsyth Central’s class of 2014 walks across the stage at the Cumming Fairgrounds.
In addition to friends and family, the county’s school board and Superintendent Buster Evans will watch as graduates enter the next chapter of their lives. Evans said graduation is a reminder of his own kids.
“I will see their faces in a flashback 100 times during graduation,” he said of his grown children. “There’s so much hope when we see a kid walk across that stage … because we know they have achieved something and they will build upon that success.”
Both Lambert and South Forsyth high schools are scheduled to graduate Tuesday at the Gwinnett Arena. They’ll be followed there on Wednesday by West Forsyth and North Forsyth high schools.
For Darla Light, who chairs the board of education, sitting on stage during graduation is personal; she and her children are products of the school system, as are her parents.
“There’s a certain sense of pride for me to know how far the Forsyth County school system has come,” she said. “From my parents graduating in 1955 to my daughter just recently graduating, there’s a real sense of pride with that history. It’s a kind of pride I still have in all of the students and school system in general.”
Light went on to note how she watches the graduates pass by and thinks “of all the possibilities of what they’re going to be.”
“It’s really such an exciting time of new beginnings for them and you can just see the excitement in their eyes,” she said. “… These kids are so accomplished right now coming out of our school system. They can be anything.”
Evans, who is retiring next month, said the ceremonies will be bittersweet.
“Knowing this is my last high school graduation that I’ll be involved with is tough, it really is,” he said. “These graduations are such a special time for families, a special time for kids and it’s an emotional time for [both].”