Going Above and Beyond
Putnam EDGE High School’s third senior class celebrated the beginning of a new chapter in their lives Saturday afternoon at their graduation ceremony at the C.L. Overturf Jr. Sixth Grade Center Auditorium.
The 13 graduates walked or, in Nathaniel Ramos’ case, danced across the stage as their names were called, ending a school year that began three weeks later than other county schools.
School Chairwoman Pat Freeman alluded to the delay caused by permitting issues regarding the Campbell building, which houses the school. This year’s senior class is the first to receive their diplomas since the students began attending classes inside the building.
Despite the early hurdle, she said, she is pleased with this year’s results.
“Everyone has shown a lot of love and support for Putnam EDGE,” Freeman said. “And I think it’s well-deserved because everyone has really worked hard to make a difference in this community for the education of our students.”
During the commencement address, given by Principal Emmanuel Swift, he warned students about the challenges ahead but encouraged them to persevere in the face of adversity and nay saying.
“You’re going to come in contact with some individuals who may not understand where you are headed, but first seek to understand before you respond to that situational struggle,” Swift said.
Logan Scapellati, who became the school’s valedictorian with a 3.8 grade point average, wished her classmates well and encouraged them to persevere.
“This is the start of our adult life, where we begin to control. And I pray we all are strong enough to handle it,” Scapellati said in her address to the graduating class.
Scapellati, who hopes to enlist in the armed forces and pursue a medical career, was recognized at the ceremony as “most likely to succeed.” Zabrya Hendrieth was also recognized for her “consistency and determination to overcome.”
This year’s senior class is the first of Swift’s tenure at the school, but they quickly impressed him as they hustled to finish their high school career, he said.
“What stood out about this class is they did what was necessary to graduate,” he said, “going above and beyond their expectations to be at the right pace toward the secondary opportunities they’re going into.”