-

Royal Live Oaks charter school celebrates first graduating class

  • Anthony Garzilli/Jasper County Sun Times Royal Live Oaks Academy’s seniors celebrate the school’s first graduation.
  • Executive Director Karen Wicks said the graduation was a culmination of the school’s vision when it was initially founded.
  • Imani James was the school’s valedictorian. “All of the hard work and dedication you put into being here today, put that same effort toward your future,” she said.
  • Charles Bradham Jr. receives the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce Teacher’s Choice Award.
  • Balloons offer congratulations.
  • Yasmine Bolden sings the National Anthem.
  • Salutatorian Ariyana Nathan
  • Cheers for the grads.
  • Dr. Rob McBrayer, board chairman, encourages the class.
  • Sheree Darien, Jasper County Chamber of Commerce, presented the Jasper County Chamber of Commerce Teacher’s Choice Award to Charles Bradham Jr.
  • Elliot Smalley, S.C. Public Charter School Superintendent

Royal Live Oaks Academy of the Arts & Sciences Charter School celebrated its first graduating class with a ceremony Thursday at Creative Church in Hardeeville.

The school, which began in August 2012 with kindergarten through eighth-grade classes, had 24 seniors, including 17 who were part of the inaugural class.

Imani James was the valedictorian. Ariyana Nathan was the salutatorian.

Executive Director Karen Wicks said the graduation was a culmination of the school’s vision when it was initially founded.

“There was a vision of a cohesive community and members of the community worked with us to take that vision and the mission that every child should taste success. No child deserves to fail,” Wicks said. “You, the very first graduating class of our school, are the culmination, the very first huge milestone, of that dream becoming a reality. You will have a special place in our hearts.”

Nathan urged her classmates to have a support system.

“Surround yourself with positive people who inspire you, motivate you, and challenge you,” she said.

James encouraged the seniors to continue to work hard.

“Because of the combined efforts of our parents, faculty and staff, we have been groomed and matured into beautiful young adults,” James said. “All of the hard work and dedication you put into being here today, put that same effort toward your future.”

The keynote speaker was Elliot Smalley, S.C. Public Charter School District Superintendent. He asked the seniors to stand and thank the family and friends who helped them on their path to graduation.

Smalley also encouraged the students to think about a promising future by having humility, courage and working hard.

“This moment is a huge step for you in your lives,” Smalley said. “I’m looking at y’all as the next generation to lead this country.”

Comments