Bamberg-Ehrhardt High graduates 109
Written by Jerry E. Halmon   

It was a time of joy, celebration and remembrance. Friday night Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School held its 2012 Commencement Exercises in the BEHS Gymnasium. With the joy and jubilation experienced by the 109 members of the 2012 BEHS graduating class, dressed in black caps and gowns, BEHS Principal Randy Maxwell, reminded the group that one chair was left empty, and that chair belonged to class of 2012 member Kendra Stewart, who died in a tragic automobile accident last year prior to the start of school.

Valedictorian Michaela Cornforth said the members of the 2012 BEHS graduating class should use the absence of Kendra Stewart and beloved CRO Eric “EB” Bamberg, who died two years ago to motivate them. “We miss them terribly, but we use their absence to inspire us.”

Cornforth said, “If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door. A plowder keeps on going and life isn’t going to be handed to them on a silver platter.” She noted that good thoughts and good habits create opportunity. Cornforth sighted Thomas Edison and Oprah Winfrey as examples of people who overcame adversity. “We have all had to build doors,” She said, adding “make a promise to seek opportunity, build good habits and enjoy your success. You earned it.”

Salutatorian Taylor Lott told her fellow BEHS graduates that instead of waiting for opportunity to come to them, they should start construction to build a door. “Build doors to continue opportunities in life,” Lott said. “It is important to grab every opportunity possible.” Taylor said that opportunity is a word that “brings about hope.” She sighted Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks as examples of people who did not wait for opportunity to knock, but build a door.

Bamberg School District One Superintendent, Phyllis Schwarting in conferring the diplomas to the BEHS Class of 2012 noted the class was awarded $2.860 million in scholarships. Superintendent Schwarting told the graduates that their search for knowledge has just begun. She told the graduating seniors that their habits become their character and their character becomes their destiny.

“Each of you has the ability to influence others in a positive way.” Leaving members of the Class with a challenge, “are you brave enough to accept the challenge of the future?”