2018-08-29 / School News

The Graduation of Tony Byrd Jr.

MICHAEL N. SEARLES


Burke County High School Principal Dr. Kaveous Preston and Tony Byrd Jr. Burke County High School Principal Dr. Kaveous Preston and Tony Byrd Jr. Of the 255 students who graduated from Burke County High School on May 19, Tony Byrd Jr. was not among them. Tony did not complete his final requirements until June 11, 2018.

Tony’s path was not an easy one. When it appeared that he would not have the necessary credits to graduate, he enrolled in the Youth Challenge Academy (YCA) at Ft. Stewart. While there, he continued to hear his mother’s voice saying he should get his diploma at Burke County High. A month after entering YCA, he left and returned to BCHS. There he faced a high mountain of courses needed to meet graduation requirements. Two of the courses were in math – his most challenging subject. He knew it would be difficult, but he would not give up. He took some of the classes at the school and others on computer. His mother, Phyllis Byrd, said that there were times when she made Tony go to bed since he stayed up so late working on his remaining classes.

Much to the surprise of family members and school counselors, Tony achieved the seemingly impossible; he graduated. He made this achievement in just over one month with an unrelenting effort. He picked up his diploma at the high school office, but missed receiving his diploma in a formal ceremony. This was something that Tony really wanted and on Tuesday, Aug. 21, that all changed.

Wearing a cap and gown loaned to him by a friend, he received his diploma from BCHS Principal Dr. Kaveous Preston at the Waynesboro Optimist Club. Dr. Preston gave a graduation speech, and Tony gave a few words of thanks and told the assembled audience about his future plans.

In attendance were his proud parents Mr. and Mrs. Tony Byrd, Optimist Club members, school officials and well-wishers. Tony says he is looking forward to joining the Navy, but if this does not come to pass, he is ready for whatever God has in store for him.

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