JOHNSONVILLE, S.C. – Johnsonville High School valedictorian Zachary Allan Wall told his classmates Friday that success is not about winning every time. It is not about perfection. But success is about shaking off failure and getting back up to the plate to try again.
Wall gave a baseball-themed speech during his valedictory address at Friday’s graduation ceremony. Eighty-four students were presented diplomas at the ceremony.
“I’m sure we will face many curve balls and bad calls as we go forth through college, the workforce or a military branch,” Wall said. “But Johnsonville Flashes, we can never give up. The foundation we received beginning with Ms. Stalvey in kindergarten and continuing to our teachers and coaches in high school have given us the strength to never give up on our dreams.”
Wall told his classmates that they do not have to be the biggest, fastest or even the smartest people. But if they never give up and work harder than the next guy, they will be difficult to beat.
“As we move forward from today, whether it’s college, work or off to serve our country in the military, the lessons we have learned in Johnsonville will give us strength to shake off our failures and try again and again to achieve our goals,” Wall said.
Johnsonville High School Principal Sam Tuten said 62 out of the 84 graduates are candidates to receive South Carolina Palmetto Fellows, LIFE, HOPE or lottery tuition assistance scholarships totaling $611,800. Sixteen seniors have earned individual, private, academic, athletic and corporate scholarships totaling $523,336. Overall, 73.8 percent of the senior class has earned $1,137,136 in scholarship awards.
Tuten said 26 seniors successfully maintained a cumulative 90 grade point average throughout high school to earn the title of honor graduate. Eight seniors successfully maintained a cumulative average of 95 or higher and earned the title of high honor graduate.
Three seniors have committed to serving in the military, Tuten said.
“Graduates, you made it to the day in your life’s journey that will remain special to you forever,” Tuten said. “Wherever you go or whatever comes your way, I encourage you not to miss your opportunity to be a winner in life.”