On Saturday, the Waynesboro High School Class of 2019 was full of happiness, smiles and cheer. The class clapped for every fellow graduate and celebrated accomplishing the milestone, together.

“It’s finally May 18,” said Victor Tate Snyder, this year’s salutatorian. “A day that had been marked on my calendar for a year. We finally made it.”

Snyder pointed out that the word “commence” means to start or begin. The WHS graduation celebrates the past four years and what is next, he said.

“While graduation is a substantial accomplishment, doing so together is even more of an honor,” Snyder said. “Let your next chapters commence. We did it.”

Samuel Pereles was the valedictorian. He encouraged students to get a last good look at the school since it won’t look the same as it did to the class of 2019 with renovations.

“Even though the school is crumbling, the Little Giant community is stronger than ever,” he said.

Pereles’ advice was to be positive and chase dreams.

“Every day try to make a positive impact,” he said. “If you build people up, others will repay the favor.”

He gave a special thank you to faculty, family and friends for helping the graduates along the way.

“Thank you seniors for being the best dang class Waynesboro High School has school has ever seen,” he said.

LaToya Diggs was the commencement speaker. Diggs is known by many as a member of the Waynesboro community and Waynesboro coach. Diggs encouraged graduates to keep God close, fail big, be present and say thank you for what’s already theirs.

“If you can’t embrace change, at least give it a hug once in a while; change is the only thing in life that is consistent,” Diggs said. “Be bold in your endeavors and humble in your deficits.”

As Tim Teachey, principal, handed out the more than 200 diplomas with Jeff Cassell, superintendent, and Rick Wheeler, school board member, he had a proud smile on his face.

This will be Teachey’s last year acting as Waynesboro High School principal. He will become Waynesboro’s director of instruction upon Sue Wright’s retirement.

Class president Nejzaria Howard made sure to give Teachey a special thank you.

“We loved having our as our principal and how easy you made it to be ourselves around you,” Howard said. “You made us feel like we had a purpose to be here.”

Howard pointed out that Teachey had a personal relationship with every student. She said his wise words were the motivation students heard to get them through to graduation day.

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