It was only yesterday that I pulled into Glen Marlow elementary school to drop you off for your first day of school. You were so proud of how grown up you were that day. In class, you quickly made friends and worked hard in all your classes. From Glen Marlow you were redistricted to Mills River and once again found a home in that school. From Mills River you went to Rugby and picked up your flute and worked hard to master your instrument over the years. Along the way, you won state gymnastics competitions and kept your grades up.
When you entered high school, you kept up the hard work. Marching Band replaced gymnastics, but your dedication to better yourself and work hard never slacked. You worked hard for every district and regional band opportunity, you excelled on the field for marching band, and you kept your grades up.
For your senior year, you were honored to become the Marching Band Drum Major, and I could not have been prouder of you. You studied your parts hard, and you worked every day to better yourself and figure out ways to make your band better. At the end of your high school band career, you were awarded the band’s top honor: The John Philipp Sousa Band Award, a national award honoring superior musicianship and outstanding dedication to the band.
All along the way, you continued to keep your grades up, taking more challenging courses and working hard to keep an “A” average throughout your entire school career, never bringing a “B” home a single time. Grades are not everything, and they don’t capture who you are, but your focus on figuring out what you needed to do to keep that average up was awesome. This dedication resulted in you being named an NC Top Scholar and a member of the honors block for your class.
All of that hard work paid off in a big way when you were selected as a University Honors Scholar at East Tennessee State University. This honor is bestowed on only 20 select incoming students each year and comes with a full academic scholarship. And you are also going to be a part of the Marching Band program at ETSU as well.
And at Graduation, you were honored with a final accolade, receiving the leadership award for the graduating class of 2019. What a capstone for your education career!
I am so excited for you and your future, Claire. You make me proud every day, and I know you will continue to excel in everything you do. I love you so much!