Blue Ridge Early College celebrates Graduation 2019

It was an emotional evening last Friday as family, friends, mentors, teachers, alumni, and faculty celebrated the graduating seniors earning their diplomas in Blue Ridge Early College’s gymnasium.

Blue Ridge Early College Class of 2019 celebrated graduation on May 24 in Cashiers, N.C.

BREC School Counselor Amy Fahey delivered a Moment of Reflection highlighting a significant memory in each of the 23 graduates high-school careers followed by an equally powerful Commencement Speech by BREC Math Teacher Brittany Elkins.

School Counselor Amy Fahey gives the Moment of Reflection speech and highlights a memory of each of the 23 seniors to graduate in 2019.

Elkins said she wanted seniors to have two takeaways from her speech; to work hard to live a happy life, and that their family at Blue Ridge is proud of them and will always be cheering them on.

“That group is a special group of students,” said Elkins. “They are determined, encouraging, and best of all, a family, and it’s bittersweet to see such a group leave.”

BREC Math Teacher Brittany Elkins delivered the Commencement Speech at this year’s graduation to an emotional crowd last Friday.

Student seniors Dallas Dean and Ali Minnihan spoke to an emotional audience, and all that being said, when it was time for the graduates to present their parents with flowers most of those in attendance pretty much opened up the flood gates.

After the ceremony and regaining composure, graduates were in high spirits ready to tackle the next adventure life has in store for them.

“It feels great because I know I’m going to accomplish a lot of great things in the future,” said Graduate Selena McCoy. “But I also have mixed feelings, I’m happy and sad at the same time.”

McCoy plans on becoming a social worker for kids and is looking at Southwestern Community College or Western Carolina University. Fellow Graduate Ashly Foster feels like the graduation is the culmination of so much effort that it’s a relief it’s finished.

“It’s an awesome feeling, I feel like I really accomplished something,” said Foster. “I waited a long time for this, and all my hard work has finally paid off.”

Foster plans on attending University of North Carolina – Wilmington studying towards becoming a physician’s assistant.

Class of 2019:

Phillip William Arnst

Emily Jade Bryson

Faith Michele Bryson

Tarah Renee Bryson

Dallas Kenlee Dean

Fisher Barrett Druffel

Carter Darian Ferrin

Ashely Brooke Foster

Devon Grace Heenan

Mystery Donya Knope

Dylan James McCall

Selena Yvonne McCoy  

Alicia Renee Minnihan

Ramon Morales-Maravilla

Adriana Morales-Vargas

Hailee Mae Moss

Monika Mae Palestino

Blake Edward Potts

Noah Douglas Pressler

Brooke Alyssa Rice

Travis Scott Tavernier

Nathan Levi Taylor

Rebecca Faith Wrenn

Graduating Seniors:

From left are BREC seniors Dallas Dean and Ashely Foster after graduation.

BREC senior Devon Heenan and CIndy Fowler after graduation at Blue Ridge.

Maddy and Blake Potts after Blake graduated last Friday.

Despite the sauna-like conditions in BREC’s gym, graduating senior Hailee Moss musters a smile and encourages fellow graduate Monika Palestino.

From left are graduates Noah Pressler and Fisher Druffel during the presentation portion of the ceremony. Editor’s Note: Pretty much the entire room broke down at this point.

Article and Photos by Brian O’Shea
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2 thoughts on “Blue Ridge Early College celebrates Graduation 2019

  1. Thank you so very much for the wonderful photos of our 2019 graduates!! Alicia Minnihan was in Italy and I’m so happy she has so many pictures of all her classmates! It is the closest thing to being there!!

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