August 13, 2014
SMITHFIELD — The graduates of Smithfield High School are capable of fantastic things, Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer told the class of 2014 Saturday morning. And they shouldn’t let anyone tell them any differently.
The ceremony got off to a rocky start. Bria Kelly, a graduating senior and recent contestant on NBC’s “The Voice,” only got through the first line of the National Anthem before a fuse blew in the stadium’s sound system. After a brief delay, the songstress belted out an impressive unplugged version, projecting so that at least the graduates could hear her.
Audio difficulties persisted, but with one speaker back up and running, the show did go on.
Farmer, a 1988 graduate of Smithfield High School, said a lot had changed since he sat on that same football field in a cap and gown 26 years before, but some things hold true through the decades.
“No matter what your age, we are not promised tomorrow. Do not take this day, or any day, for granted,” Farmer told the grads.
He said not one of Saturday’s graduates “was put here to be mediocre.” Farmer called out extraordinary achievements, from athletics and academics to extracurriculars.
“I believe that if a member of this class practiced and strummed a guitar until her fingers ached, she could steamroll her way to Los Angeles to meet Usher and Blake (Shelton) and Shakira and Adam (Levine),” Farmer said, referencing Kelly’s recent foray into the national spotlight.
However, it’s OK if you don’t know exactly where you’ll end up after high school, Farmer said.
“I was sure I was going to be the next Matt Lauer, but I ended up in law school and found a career I love. Take your time,” Farmer said.
Murphy can be reached by phone at 757-247-4760.
Smithfield High School
Total enrollment: 1232
Graduating class: 312
Speakers: Valedictorian Kayla Cummings, Salutatorian Kelly Degnon, Commonwealth’s Attorney Wayne Farmer