Members of Blue Ridge Early College Class of 2018 celebrate by tossing their graduation caps skyward near the close of their May 31 commencement in the school’s gym. (Photo by Don Richeson.)

Twenty-one graduate from Blue Ridge Early College

Hundreds of well-wishers pack gym for Class of 2018's May 31 commencement

By Don Richeson / Staff

CASHIERS -- Blue Ridge Early College’s Class of 2018 participated in its May 31 commencement in the school’s gym.

Class Secretary Kaitlynn Davis led the Pledge of Allegiance and the BREC Graduation Choir, led by music teacher Sarah Hall, performed the national anthem. The BREC Girls Ensemble performed “Blue Ridge Alma Mater.”

BREC Principal Brent Speckhardt delivered a welcome and charge to the graduates, which was followed by a moment of reflection by parent and Blue Ridge School Education Foundation member Cindy Fowler.

Class of 2018 Top Ten members Pollyanna Ballentine and Madison Allard each spoke on behalf of the class and Blue Ridge School and Early College Counselor Amy Fahey delivered the commencement speech.

Speckhardt, Fahey, Blue Ridge School Principal Teri Walawender and Jackson County Public Schools Superintendent Kim Elliott concluded the ceremony by awarding diplomas.

Members of Blue Ridge Early College Class of 2018 include, in alphabetical order, Madison Leila Allard, Azucena Maylin Alvarez, Carlos Jesus Anguiano, Pollyanna Marie Ballentine, Briana Nicole Baumgarner, Kayley Ann Bryson, Kaitlynn Rebecca Davis, Madison Shay Foster, Hunter Oneal Fowler, Edwin Alexis Garcia, Indiana Benjamin Jones, Brittany Madison Kinsey, Jeffrey Alan Knaup II, Tanner O’Neil McCall, Wade Dean Moffitt, Juan Morales-Garcia, Magnus Micheal Nielsen, Dominik Milan Placko, Julio Enrique Reyes, Daniel Zbigniew Sakiewicz and Vasilli Ambros Wester.

In all, 35 students graduated from Blue Ridge — twenty-one 12-year students and fourteen 13-year students. Thirteenth-year students continued their education by one year to obtain an associate degree.

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