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Meet West Craven High Valedictorian, Savannah Buck

The 2020-2021 West Craven Valedictorian is a young lady who has been active in the school community and in the community at large. She is a member of the National Honor Society, the National Technical Honor Society and Skills USA. She has volunteered with Antioch Compassion Outreach, Religious Community Services and as an assistant teacher for Temple Preschool. Additionally, she found time to engage in competitive dance for 15 years.

She names among her proudest accomplishments being selected to attend Governor’s School for Natural Science in the summer of 2020. She has received many awards as the result of her focus on academic excellence. She won the State Leader Award in the Skills USA competition. Maintaining an A in every class throughout her high school career, she received the Principal’s Award and was a member of the Craven County School’s All-Academic Team. Ultimately, she achieved a weighted GPA of 4.6061.

After high school, she plans to attend North Carolina State University and major in Biochemistry. To help her in that pursuit, she has been awarded the State Employee’s Credit Union Scholarship in the amount of $10,000.

Her parents are Ben and Michelle Buck, her grandparents, Earl and Candace Campbell and her brothers, Jackson and Ayden Buck. Please join me in congratulating Savannah Buck on this achievement.

West Craven High Valedictorian’s Speech 2021

Good morning, Class of 2021, friends, family, teachers and staff. I would like to welcome you to this year’s commencement ceremony. I would also like to thank everyone here supporting one of these lovely graduates. The fact that you all are sitting here in the sweltering heat right alongside us means the world. And to my classmates, when we embarked on this 4-year journey as freshmen, we had no idea of all the hardships waiting for us. We took each obstacle as they came and at last, we have finally reached this day, a testament to our character, drive, and perseverance.

Although leaving this part of ourselves behind seems difficult, today’s ceremony should feel like a celebration of new life and opportunity rather than a funeral for your high school self. It is true that the best is yet to come. As this chapter of our lives comes to a close, I hope that none of you are happy with where you are. You should be ecstatic that you have made it this far, but I want each and every one of you to want more. Don't settle for what you think you can accomplish, but strive to surprise even yourself by doing something that far exceeds your expectations. I believe our graduating class, and our generation, will be the ones to finally go out into the world, break boundaries and shatter the ceilings set by those who came before us. We have dealt with so much in our short lifetimes, but it has given us the experience and maturity to accomplish more and encourage change that will reach farther than the halls and fields of our beloved school.

No matter the setting of your next chapter, whether it be the workforce, the military, college, or taking up household responsibilities, treat each page like an exciting new adventure. Oftentimes, the uncertainty of our futures in this day and age can weigh heavy and discourage us, but Abraham Lincoln once said, “The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.” If you don’t know what your story holds, you need not worry, for this is just day one of the rest of your life.

We can’t leave this field without giving proper thanks to those who have helped us along the way, and I personally would like to thank my parents, teachers, and counselors. Thank you for giving me the freedom to motivate myself and others, allowing me to express my individuality, and providing me with the tools I needed to flourish. It has no doubt been a hard road to get here, but the tough times have only better prepared us for the journey ahead. I want to leave each of you with this thought as you plan your next steps in life… Don’t let the boundaries define your potential for growth. Push them back little by little every moment of your life and soon you’ll realize they were never really there. Thank you and congratulations to West Craven High School’s Class of 2021, it’s finally over.