Magnet convocation 2019


Magnet senior Tara Anastasoff walks across the stage in the Performing Arts Center to receive her sash, certificate, and medal for completing the Magnet program. Students received recognition for all their efforts in the program during the is ceremony.

Jayden Stabler, Sports Editor

Graduating Magnet seniors look back on and celebrate their previous four years of high school in an intimate gathering of parents, teachers, and students on Monday, May 20.

“It’s [Convocation] an opportunity to recognize the unique achievements of kids that have come through four years of Magnet. It’s also an opportunity for magnet seniors to recognize staff who have played a key role in their four years,” Magnet Coordinator David Stephenson said.

The Magnet Convocation, following its institution at NC in 2014, represented somewhat of a smaller, more intimate version of graduation for Magnet students only. The event began with the pledge of allegiance and a moment of silence for Tomari Jackson, a former Magnet student who unfortunately passed away while on a school trip to Belize in February of 2017. Stephenson then took the stage to make opening remarks, thanking parents and teachers for their contribution to the lives and success of the graduating magnet seniors.

The ceremony stressed the importance of teacher influence with the tradition of students recognizing certain teachers for their valuable roles in helping students to learn and grow.

“Each student indicated to me which faculty member or members they wanted to recognize. They write letters or cards and we have flowers and we give those to the faculty on the stage,” Stephenson said.

Next, the student selected keynote speaker for the third time, AP Comparative Government teacher Carolyn Galloway took the stage to deliver an inspiring speech to the young adults in the audience. Galloway stressed the importance of caring about the world around oneself at a time where it becomes so easy to stay self-involved. She urged creativity and curiosity in her elegant and well-spoken address.

“Its [the speech] an honor, it’s really quite something to have students choose you to speak for them. It’s also an enormous amount of pressure because it means you have to get up in front of several hundred people and talk and I get very, very nervous. I always try to make sure what I’m writing is meaningful and relevant and hopefully, matters, ultimately to the kids that asked me to speak for them,” Galloway said.

As a way to reflect and bring attention to how far the graduating class came, Stephenson read out a couple of quotes from entry essays written by the Magnet class of 2019 as eighth graders.

“My favorite part [of convocation] is reflecting back. Almost always we’ll reflect back on some aspect of where they were when they were 8th graders, applying to the magnet program and then seeing them now, what they’ve accomplished over four years,” Stephenson said.

The Stoling Ceremony commenced shortly thereafter. Students called to the stage received a blue sash (stole), a certificate, and a medal for completing all four years of the Magnet program.

“The Convocation really showed me how far we, as a Magnet family, have grown together in the past four years. I’m so proud of everyone and so excited to see everyone maximize their potential,” Magnet senior Jalen Brown said.

To finish off the event in a sentimental and reminiscent way, a slideshow played of photos of the Magnet class of 2019 sharing in fun and memories.

“The one thing I really don’t want my students to be when they leave is passive, I want them to go out and engage and to essentially live life in an active voice. You can’t wait for things to happen to you, you have to make them happen to yourself. Especially with our focus on international studies and the relation[ship] between individualism and the rest of the world; I think that’s something we do a very good job of,” Galloway said.