• Andrew Jackson High – 'Sometimes, it's imperative for moving forward'

    The mixture of emotions that come with closing part of one's life to open another filled the Andrew Jackson High School graduation ceremony on Friday.

    Salutatorian Rebekah Bowers said in her speech that some of her classmates are sad to leave, yet others want to embrace the future and past. But she said one thing is for sure, and that it's time to say goodbye to AJ High.

    "Sometimes it's (saying goodbye is) imperative for moving forward," she said.

  • Indian Land High: 'It makes me cherish this day and every day'

    A royal blue cap and gown along with a diploma sat in an empty chair at Winthrop Coliseum on Friday afternoon.

    That seat belonged to Derek Hammaker, an Indian Land High School senior who died in a car wreck earlier this year. Even though Hammaker didn't walk across the stage Friday afternoon, his named was called like everybody else. His name was also included among the 90 or so graduates listed in the program.

    The commencement was bittersweet for the Class of 2008 – joy for reaching a milestone but also sorrow of knowing one of their friends didn't make it.

  • Carolina Christian Academy – 'Do right and God will supply you with the things you need'

    What matters in life is a person's "treasures of the heart," and that's something Carolina Christian Academy graduates were asked to ponder at their graduation ceremony May 23.

    The school's seven graduates were encouraged to examine themselves and the lives they plan once away from the school.

    "What kind of treasures will you have in your heart while you sit in college?" asked commencement speaker, the Rev. Reece Yandle, executive director emeritus of the S.C. Association of Christian Schools. "Please, let God pick those treasures."

  • Adult Education holds graduation

    Sarah Kay Kennedy knew she needed to complete the adult-education program to get a good job. At times, though, she felt like giving up.

    Kennedy, a former spinner for Springs Global, cried many nights after leaving the Lancaster County Adult Education center on Barr Street, where she was working toward a GED (general equivalency diploma).

    The day she was about to take her GED test in March, Kennedy, 49, was found crying in the bathroom. She tried to leave the building, but personnel encouraged her to stay and take the test.

  • Your junk, throw-aways sought by instructor of summer art program

    One person's junk is another child's art project.

    Van Wyck artist Cherry Doster will be teaching at arts camps around the area this summer, and needs old shoes, artificial flowers, vinyl record albums, newspapers, magazines and other things that children can turn into recycled art in her classes.

    "You have this opportunity to help give kids ages 5 to 12 in a unique learning experience simply by donating your throw-aways,"Doster said. "Kids can make something artsy out of just about anything that folks throw away."

  • Buford High – 'Learning doesn't end with our exit today'

    Buford High School valedictorian Taylor Threatt said her best leader in life is God.

    At the very last minute, Threatt surpassed classmates Brandon Moore and Jessica Newton, nabbing the top spot in the BHS class of 2008.

    Threatt is a member of the Beta Club and National Honor Society. She played on the BHS volleyball and golf teams. She plans on pursuing a secondary education degree at North Greenville University.

  • Graduation Slideshow

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  • Lancaster High – 'I want everybody to know that you can make it'

    Tears streaked down Pearlene Dinkins' face as she watched her granddaughter, Sekia Davis, march off the field as "Pomp and Circumstance" played.

    Dinkins, like many others Friday night, was simply proud to see a family member finish high school. Davis was one of 301 Lancaster High School students to receive a diploma this year.

    "I feel so good to see her get through this year," Dinkins said. "It's a blessing."

    The ceremony was also emotional for Dani Strang.

    For a while, the graduating senior couldn't stop crying.

  • Two Republicans vie for District 1 seat on council

    The two Panhandle Republicans running for County Council District 1 have one thing in common – both want the county to form a new land-use plan.

    Alan Patterson and Larry McCullough are each first-time candidates for elective office.

    McCullough, 58, said he was asked by many people to run for the office. He said he looked at the county's needs, and considered what he could bring to the table.

    "We want to do some things to make the Panhandle and Lancaster County better as the future unfolds," he said.

  • Funds, volunteers sought to build children's park

    KERSHAW – The effort to raise money and volunteer labor for a planned children's park in Kershaw marches on.

    More than $40,000 of the projected $97,000 cost of the park has been raised, but additional funds are sought and people are being asked to help work at the park site July1 through July 26.

    Thirteen captains will lead the work and people who will cook meals for the volunteers over the five-day period.

    "This will truly be a community-built park," said Beverly Timmons of the Kershaw Community Park Council.