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Harlem High School sets stage for graduation weekend

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Harlem High School set itself apart Friday night while they set the stage for a weekend of Columbia County high school graduations.

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Harlem graduate Braxton Jordan shares a laugh with friends before marching out to the football field at Harlem High School for his graduation ceremony.  JIM BLAYLOCK/STAFF
Harlem graduate Braxton Jordan shares a laugh with friends before marching out to the football field at Harlem High School for his graduation ceremony.

Rather than go the standard route of a ceremony at James Brown Arena, Harlem chose to have its commencement on its football field, the first at the school since 1982 and the first at its current location.

“It was wonderful, I’m so glad they did it out here,” said salutatorian Madeline Shepherd. “It represents our small Harlem community.”

Tabitha Osborne, the senior class secretary who helped the other class officers push through the outdoor graduation, echoed the sentiment.

“It feels more like home here,” Osborne said. “James Brown Arena feels rushed.”

The 173 graduates took the field in front of a standing-room-only crowd at 7 p.m. with a sun beaming down. When the last name was read a little over an hour later, the sun was dropping below the treeline with a full moon taking its place.

Speeches from class president Hannah Price, Shepherd and valedictorian Sean Spurlin ranged from insightful to witty to self-deprecating, but all touching on a central theme of looking forward to the future.

“We share one thing in common, we are here today reminiscing on our great times together and enthusiastically looking forward to moving on to something,” Spurlin said.

In his last round of graduations after 24 years in the county school system, Superintendent Charles Nagle imparted wisdom one last time.

“My advice to you is to make a plan and set you your goals,” Nagle said. “Today is the first day of your future.”

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Riverman1 05/24/13 - 10:59 pm
Beautiful Setting

What a great setting and description of the school of the little town and its graduation. Beautiful... “the sun was dropping below the tree line with a full moon taking its place.”

It certainly beats the experience at the JB Arena with one school after another in the downtown Augusta setting with the omnipresent beachball. The other Columbia County schools would be wise to follow the example.

school bus driver
school bus driver 05/24/13 - 11:34 pm

I am so proud to say I have watched some of these Seniors grow up to become respectful young adults! Way to go Class of 2012/2013!!
Stay strong,keep your head up and make your parents proud!

seenitB4 05/25/13 - 05:52 am
bclicious 05/25/13 - 08:53 am
Congratulations, but good luck on:

This is always great, but I hope ya'll have a good plan lined up. There are fewer and fewer jobs; therefore, it is gonna be rough.

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