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Graduation 2023

Douglas Byrd valedictorian says graduates will find freedom — and challenges


Nearly 1,000 high school students in five Cumberland County high schools received their diplomas Wednesday as graduation week wrapped up.

Wednesday was the fourth and final day of the district’s graduation marathon.

Ceremonies were held at the Crown Coliseum.

Over the past two weeks, the district has celebrated 17 commencements with more than 3,500 students walking across the stage to receive their diplomas, according to a news release.

Douglas Byrd High School valedictorian Iris Kilpatrick told her classmates that they will enter a new stage of freedom but will also face challenges.

“When we leave this coliseum today, let us not forget how valuable life is and the power that we possess to make every day and every experience count,” Kilpatrick said. “There will never be another time in our lives like this, so I hope we’ll cherish these moments because we will never get them back.

“For some of us, the future is terrifying; for others, it is exciting,” she continued. “But now we are about to experience a new freedom. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, ‘Freedom makes a huge requirement on every human being; with freedom comes great responsibility.’ I hope each of us Eagles soars into this new freedom confidently because we will leave an indelible mark wherever we go.”

To access graduation photos and other highlights from each graduation ceremony, visit www.graduation.ccs.k12.nc.us.

For a photo gallery of the Douglas Byrd graduation, go to DBHS Media Photo Folder.

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Cumberland County, graduation, schools, education, Douglas Byrd High School