2,600 Johnston grads turn tassels

10 high schools celebrate commencement

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Throughout Johnston County, 2,600 high school seniors received diplomas during commencement exercises held Friday.

Corinth Holders High School held its commencement exercises at 10 a.m. in the football stadium.

Principal Brian Johnson greeted 460 candidates before one of the largest crowds to attend a commencement ceremony there. Both sides of the football stadium overflowed with spectators.

Corinth Holders seniors Noah Evenson and Gabrielle Miller presented commencement messages.

At North Johnston High School, Ben Williams in his final year as principal saw 217 seniors receive diplomas at a 5 p.m. commencement exercise in the school gymnasium.

“As you leave North Johnston, always remember this is your home and part of your family that you will have for the rest of your life and will be there to support you,” said Williams.

North Johnston Student Government Association President Holley Bruske delivered the commencement address. Fighting back tears, she said, “The greatest power we have is the power to choose.”

During a 7 p.m. ceremony in the Deacon Jones Gymnasium, Princeton High School Principal Jarvis Ellis told 131 graduation candidates, “We are proud of you and look forward to seeing the positive impact you will have on our community and world in the future. ‘Once a Bulldog, always a Bulldog.’”

Princeton math teacher Adam Peedin delivered the commencement address.

“Be proud of your successes thus far, be thankful for everyone and everything that has helped you to reach this point,” said Parrish. “Be respectful of every person and every opportunity you encounter as you begin the journey down your path through the rest of your life.”

Smithfield-Selma High Principal David Allen presented 290 candidates for graduation during a 7 p.m. ceremony, originally planned for the football stadium but moved to the gymasium due to a thunderstorm.

Retired Smithfield-Selma teacher Ronald Jones gave the commencement address.

Other Johnston County schools holding graduation ceremonies included Clayton, Cleveland, South Johnston and West Johnston high schools, the Career & Technical Leadership Academy and the Johnston County Early College Academy.

For parents, relatives and friends unable to attend, Johnston County Public Schools livestreamed each high school graduation ceremony on YouTube.