“Prepare to be amazed!” said TGS Board president Joyce Gates as she welcomed students and families to Awards Day 2022. Everyone was wearing their school uniforms and looking very sharp (although we were a little damp from a thunderstorm that morning which had flooded the downtown and caused some delay).
Dr. Gates began by announcing the names of all the students who won outside awards this year and they all received a warm recognition. “We go up against schools many times our size,” he said, “and regularly come back with awards.” He also noted that our students often garner compliments for how well they conduct themselves at events.
Then Dr. Gates took a moment to reflect on the value of awards and the dangers of giving a reward where none has been earned, using the challenges of our recent Spring Trip as an example.
Finally, the big moment arrived–the presentation of the six TGS awards. Teachers came forward to give them. The winners are as follows: Isaac Shumard (Academic), Ella Cheek (Art), Annika Villafranca (Kingfisher), T. J. Ulrichsen (Senior Speech), Jack Small (Service), and Morgan Edwards (Sportsmanship/Extracurricular). These six outstanding students stood at the front of the Auditorium beaming and enjoyed their well-deserved moment.
The day passed very quickly and soon it was time to gather again for Graduation at 5:00. In the hall, there was controlled chaos as the Kingfisher Crew set up the reception and families arrived. In Senora’s room, T. J., Jack, and Ethan were putting on their robes and mortarboards and getting nervous.
At 5:00, the faculty processed in and took their places. The graduates waited for “Pomp and Circumstance” to begin, then walked slowly to the front of the Auditorium. Dr. Gates invited everyone to be seated.
Father James Touzeau gave the invocation, asking God’s blessing on the graduates and their families, then Dr. Gates invited Ethan to give the Salutation. Overcome with emotion, Ethan thanked his teachers and friends and said that he would “miss this place so much.” Then Jack stood up to give the Valediction, also expressing his appreciation for his education and the TGS community.
Finally, Dr. Gates called the roll: Ethan Anderson (U. S. C.), Jack Small (Coastal), and T. J. Ulrichsen (undecided) were duly certified and received their diplomas from Mrs. Joyce Gates. It was a grand moment when they finally switched their tassels and threw their mortarboards towards the ceiling to thunderous applause. Congratulations to the 2022 graduates and their families!